Pathanamthitta: Scores of devotees on Monday (November 18) continue to throng the Sabarimala temple to offer prayers to Lord Ayyappa. The temple was opened on November 16 for the 41-day long annual Mandala-Makaravilakku pooja festival.

On Saturday (November 16), at least 10 women, aged between 10 to 50 years, were sent back from Pamba base camp which is nearly 6 km downhill from the temple. The police did not let the women -- all residents of Andhra Pradesh -- trek up to the temple.

Notably, the Kerala government has made it clear that it would not provide security to any woman of menstruating age visiting the shrine, said devaswom board minister K Surendran.

Women’s rights activist Trupti Desai on Friday (November 15) said that she will go to Sabarimala temple after November 20 regardless of whether she would be provided protection by the Kerala government or not. "I will go to Sabarimala after November 20. We will seek protection from the Kerala government and it is up to them to give us protection or not. Even if not provided with protection, I will visit Sabarimala for the darshan," Desai said.

The temple’s doors were opened just days after a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court had referred a clutch of petitions seeking review of its 2018 order, which paved the way for the entry of women into Sabarimala temple in Kerala, to a larger seven-judge bench by a majority 3:2 ruling.

The top court also observed that the right to worship by an individual cannot outweigh the rights of a religious group.