The Kerala Travancore Devaswan Board (TDB) in a statement said that Sabarimala pilgrims intending to visit the famed temple during the five-day season this month starting September 17 can book their time of visit on Wednesday evening. The daily number of pilgrims will be restricted to 15,000 owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the TDB said.
The temple, which fought a pitch legal battle to hold on to the age-old tradition of non-entry of women who have attained puberty, is accessible only on foot from Pamba. Situated on the mountain ranges of the Western Ghats at an altitude of 914 metres above sea level, the Sabarimala temple is four km uphill from Pamba in Pathanamthitta district, which is around 100 km from the capital city. The TDB is the body that oversees the daily functioning of the temple and all those who wish to visit the temple this month on the above dates have to either have a valid RT-PCR certificate or must have taken both the vaccine doses and can log on to book their time.
The temple is accessible only by foot from Pamba, and it fought a long legal battle to preserve the age-old tradition of prohibiting entry to women who have reached puberty. Unlike other temples, Sabarimala is not opened on a daily basis, instead, it opens every month for five days besides its annual pilgrimage season which begins in the third week of November and ends in the second week of January.