The Sabarimala shrine will open at 5 pm this evening for the "Sree Chitira Atta Thirunal" special puja slated for Tuesday, marking the birthday of last king of Travancore Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma, and close at 10 pm on that day. Tantri Kandararu Rajeevaru and chief priest Unnikrishnan Namboodiri would jointly open the temple doors and light the lamp at the 'Sreekovil' (sanctum sanctorum).
Devaswom minister Kadakampally Surendran said the state government would ensure complete protection to believers.
So far, no women in the 'barred' age group had approached police for protection to offer prayers at the hill shrine, he said.
The Pandalam royal family, closely associated with the Ayyappa shrine, said it was "pained" at the heavy security in and around Sabarimala. "Saddened that devotees will have to offer prayers at the shrine amid thick police cover," it said.
Protesting the apex court verdict, a 'prayer yagna' will be held in Pathnamthitta, the family said. So far, 3,731 people have been arrested and 545 cases registered in connection with the last month's violence.
The BJP and various Hindu outfits are on a warpath against the Left-front government over its decision not to seek a review of the top court verdict. -- PTI