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After 20-day lull, long queues back in Sabarimala

Devdiscourse News Desk thiruvananthapuram Last Updated at 08-12-2018 19:46:10 IST India
After 20-day lull, long queues back in Sabarimala

After a 20-day lull since the annual pilgrim season began, long queues and packed crowds are back at the Lord Ayyappa Temple here, which had witnessed a

drastic dip in pilgrim arrivals in the initial weeks.

The lifting of restrictions imposed by police and ease in tension that had prevailed at the shrine, following protests against the implementation of the Supreme Court verdict,

permitting women of all age groups, have triggered a high inflow of devotees after the initial lull.

According to temple sources, over 61,000 pilgrims visited the hilltop temple on Friday alone, indicating a steady increase in the footfalls.

While the headcount was 79,306 on December 3, it was 61,037 on December 4 and 51,335 on December 5, as per the figures.

Over 45,000 pilgrims had visited the Lord Ayyappa temple on December 6, the anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition day, though there had been extra vigil and additional security arrangements at the temple complex.

Unlike the previous years, the temple wore a deserted look for many days after it opened for the over two-month-long monthly pilgrim season on November 16.

The number of devotees, who had offered prayers at the shrine, was just 28,717 on November 16, as per figures. The devastation caused by the August floods had affected

the usual pre-season arrangements implemented by the government at Nilackal, the base camp, and Pamba, the last gateway to the hill temple.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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