Sabarimala: Family Of Chief Priest And The Royals May Shut Shrine Indefinitely For ‘Punyaham’ If Women Begin VisitingThe Sabarimala shrine. (Shankar/The India Today Group/Getty Images)

Amid the growing protests by Ayyappa devotees against the Supreme Court verdict allowing women of all ages to enter the Sabarimala shrine, the families of the temple Thantri (priest) and the royals who patronised the shrine may decide to close down the temple indefinitely for ‘Punyaham’ (a ritual performed for cleansing the temple), reports Marunadan TV.

The priest’s family reiterated that they are the authority when it comes to the rituals conducted in the temple. ‘Punyaham’ should be performed, when there is any violation in routines. The same holds when women between the ages of 10 and 50 enter the temple.

Reports suggest that the Supreme Court or the government do not have the authority concerning the performance of the ritual. If the Supreme Court order is implemented in letter and spirit, ‘Punyaham’ must be conducted frequently, which is supposed to be practically impossible as the temple needs to remain closed while the cleansing is done.

Temples are as important as their deities, and any form of dilution in temple rituals will make the shrine like any ordinary place. Once the SC verdict is implemented, the priest and the royal family would have to close down the temple to restore the sanctity of the temple, Pandalam Royal Family Representative Kerala Varma Raja was reported as saying.

This decision may impact usual devotees as the ‘Mandala-Makaravilakku’ season starts in November and the temple usually sees a footfall of millions every year.

An Appeal...

Dear Reader,

As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.

Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.

We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.

Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.

Become A Patron
Become A Subscriber
Advertisement