Two women in their 40s entered the Sabarimala shrine early Wednesday morning, around 3:45 am. Video footage being shared on WhatsApp showed the two, accompanied by policemen in civil dress, going inside the temple through a side entrance used by VIPs and the media.
The women, identified as Bindu and Kanakadurga, both residents of north Kerala, started their climb around midnight and reached inside the sanctum sanctorum early morning. They did not climb the sacred 18 steps used by pilgrims who take the 41-day vow and carry the sacred offering of ‘irumudikettu‘. Police stationed at the Pamba base camp said they don’t know the whereabouts of the two women.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinirayi Vijayan confirmed that two entered the shrine under police protection. “There were hurdles for women to climb and enter Sabarimala temple. If they have entered the temple today, there must not have been any hurdles. It is true that they have entered. Police had been given instructions to provide protection to any woman who wants to climb,” Vijayan told reporters.
Earlier, in the last week of December, they had tried to trek to Sabarimala but had been blocked by massive protests. Women in the age group of 10-50 years are traditionally barred from entering the Sabarimala temple. The Supreme Court, through its September 28 landmark verdict, lifted the curb and permitted women of all age groups to offer prayers at the temple.