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Women’s entry in Sabarimala: A 5-Judge Constitutional Bench to Decide



Women's entry in Sabarimala

Sabarimala is a famous temple in Kerala where thousands of Men’s fast for a month or more and visit the temple to worship the lord “Ayyappa“. Women’s between the age 10 to 50 are not allowed inside the temple and it is a practice followed since a long time. The temple doesn’t allow entry to the woman who attained puberty and this is the current scenario in the famous temple Sabarimala. The Youth Lawers association filled a plea for not allowing women’s entry in Sabarimala and the temple is very discriminative. Before debating on this first, let’s get to know the history of Sabarimala.

Women's entry in Sabarimala

Devotees in Sabarimala

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Sabarimala and Lord Ayyappa

Ayyappa is a form of Lord Vishnu born as a human to kill Mahishi who was an evil. Ayyappa was raised by the King Rajasekara who didn’t have a child but later he was blessed with a son. Ayyappa was sent to the forest to bring “Tiger’s Milk” to cure his mother (She was pretending to be sick). But Ayyappa came back on the tiger with other tigers accompanying him. That was the moment the king, princess and the people of the kingdom understood he was an Avatar of God.

As per the history of Lord Ayappa, he is celibate and will remain to be a celibate until when a first-time devotee stops coming to his temple. When the first-time devotee stops coming to his temple, he assured that he will marry the woman who emerged after destroying the demon Mahishi.

Women's entry in Sabarimala

Devotees walking to worship Lord Shiva

Since then a lot of devotees who wanted to praise the Lord Ayyappa stay healthy and pure both mentally and physically for 41 days and visit Sabarimala. Every year thousands of first-time devotees continue to visit the temple.

Women’s entry in Sabarimala

It is a practice followed since the earlier time. Lord Ayyappa is a celibate warrior-yogi deity. To respect Ayyappa and to respect his celibates, women’s between the age 10 to 50 are not allowed to enter the temple. Earlier, there was a case appealed to the Kerala High Court in 1991 which ended in favour of Temple custom and tradition. The new appeal is now in the hands of the supreme court which has asked a 5-judge constitution bench to decide on the case.

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Sownder Kumar is an Indian Blogger inspired by the quote "If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all: Read a lot and write a lot". You can contact him via!