Sabarimala: After witnessing unprecedented protests over the entry of women of menstruating age, the Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala was closed Sunday marking the culmination of the over two-month-long stormy annual pilgrimage season.
As the temple closed, the opposition BJP ended its 49-day-long relay hunger strike staged in front of the Secretariat, the administrative hub in Thiruvananthapuram, demanding the lifting of prohibitory orders and restrictions at Sabari-mala, which the LDF government rejected.
While chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan Sunday lashed out at the Sangh Parivar and said their Sabarimala stir was a “complete failure”, BJP state president P.S. Sreedharan Pillai claimed the agitations were aimed at protecting the traditional faith of devotees and it had won in garnering mass support.
The Sabarimala Karma Samithi, the rightwing forum which spearheaded the agitations against the entry of young women into the shrine, is all set to organise a mass gathering of devotees, spiritual and cultural leaders in the state capital this evening.
The sanctum sanctorum of the hill temple was closed at 6.15 am after darshan by P. Raghava Var-ma Raja, representative of the erstwhile Pandalam royal family. After the customary ‘bhasmabhish-ekam’, the portals of the shrine were closed.