Women, in 40s, offer prayers at Sabarimala temple

Women, in 40s, offer prayers at Sabarimala temple

Women, in 40s, offer prayers at Sabarimala temple

Two women, below the age of 50, entered and offered prayers at the Sabarimala Temple on Wednesday, in a first after Supreme Court ended the ban in September previous year.

The development comes a day after tens of thousands of women formed a human chain across the state in support of the court order.

The Supreme Court had lifted a traditional ban on entry of women of menstrual age on September 28 previous year. It is a fact that the women have entered Sabarimala. Bindu and Kanakadurga, both in their forties, set foot in the shrine in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, with police protection. On November 5, it was reopened for several days.

Nestled atop a steep mountain amid a lush green tiger reserve, it's the site of one of the world's largest annual pilgrimages, with millions of Hindu devotees making the journey each year. The temple is dedicated to the god Ayyappan, believed to be the son of Shiva and Vishnu.

Travancore Devaswom Board meanwhile said that they have no clue about the visit of the women, and the police had not informed anything in advance.

A group of women in New Delhi on Tuesday also demonstrated outside the Kerala House near Jantar Mantar, demanding gender equality and justice for all, the Hindustan Times reported.

The restriction on woman at Sabarimala, situated on top of a 3,000-foot (915-metre) hill in a tiger reserve that takes hours to climb, reflects a belief - not exclusive to Hinduism - that menstruating women are impure.

They made efforts to enter the shrine in December but had to return due to protests.

Trump claims he has not 'abandoned' a concrete border wall
Trump has promised to oppose any plan to re-open the government that does not include funding for his signature campaign progress. It likely won't receive much support from House Republicans , but the Democrats may be able to get it through the House anyway.

"One small step for women, one giant leap for equality".

Tuesday's rally was organized by Kerala's left-leaning government, with approximately five million women from across the state taking part in the "women's wall", officials told the BBC.

However, the state government defended its decision to protect the women as they went into the temple, saying it was a matter of civil rights.

Two women managed to reach the main temple premises in October, with more than 100 police protecting them from stone-throwing protesters as they walked the last 5km stretch to the shrine. We followed our legal right as women. Even today, not many local women enter the sanctum sanctorum in the Shani Shingnapur temple, another place of worship where women were recently permitted to enter.

For centuries, women of menstruating age have been banned from the Sabarimala temple in the southern Indian state of Kerala.

Local media report the temple was later closed for "purification".

Many Hindu groups and prime minister Narendra Modi's nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) oppose the ruling.

November 16: An evening before the temple's re-opening, Hindu Aikyavedi state President K P Sasikala, 50, was taken into preventive custody near Marakootam at 2.30 am after she allegedly defied orders not to spend the night in the temple complex, according to the police.

Related news