The pilgrimage to the Sabarimala temple in Kerala has been halted today due to heavy rains.

Sabarimala temple, The pilgrimage to the famous Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala has been halted for a day. On Saturday it was done due to the continuous rain in Kerala’s Pathanamthitta district and rising water levels in major rivers, including the Pamba.

The Sabarimala Temple is a Hindu temple complex in Kerala, India. It is located on Sabarimala Hill within the Periyar Tiger Reserve in Perinad Village, Pathanamthitta district. It is one of the world’s most popular annual pilgrimage sites. With an estimated 40 to 50 million devotees visiting each year.

The temple is dedicated to Ayyappan, also known as Dharma Shasta, a Hindu Brahmachari (Celibate) deity who is said to be the son of Shiva and Mohini, Vishnu’s feminine incarnation. Sabarimala’s traditions are a mix of Shaivism, Vaishnavism, and other Ramaa traditions.

“In light of the continuous rainfall in Pathanamthitta district, rising water levels in the Pamba river; and the red alert status in both Kakki-Anathode reservoir (gates open) and Pamba dam. It is hereby proclaimed that pilgrimage to Pamba and Sabarimala tomorrow (20-11-2021) is prohibited. District Collector Divya S Iyer said in an order on Friday.

She went on to say that pilgrims who had reserved a spot through the virtual queue system. That person would be given “darshan” in the next available slot once the weather conditions improved.

“We ask pilgrims to cooperate by not making the journey during this time,” said the district collector.

Several worshippers have been hiking to the hill-top shrine to offer prayers. Since it opened on November 16 for the two-month-long annual Mandalam-Makaravilakku pilgrimage season. Despite the harsh weather and the COVID-19 situation.

In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, devotees are permitted to visit; the Lord Ayyappa temple via a virtual queue system, as was the case last year.

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