SABARIMALA: Unprecedented security measures, including entry curbs at various locations, affected the flow of pilgrims into Sabarimala. Restrictions on the flow of pilgrims at Elavunkal, Nilakkal, Pampa, trekking path and Sannidhanam by police are causing severe hardships for the hapless pilgrims who come for darshan of Lord Ayyappa.
A number of restrictions imposed by authorities--not permitting of pilgrim vehicles beyond Nilakkal, frequent restrictions on plying of KSRTC buses on the Nilakkal-Pampa road--are causing untold miseries to pilgrims at Nilakkal.
The latest curbs have caused hardships for the pilgrims, especially for children and the elderly.
Devotees are going through harrowing experiences at Pampa, without drinking water, food and toilet for many hours. The pilgrims are not even allowed to stand or sit on the Valiyanadapandal, Lower Thirumuttom on the way to neyyabhishekam during day time or night.
Sankarankutty, 56, a devotee who was on his 31st pilgrimage to the shrine, had a harrowing experience to share.
"I was forced to spend about 35 hours for darshan this time", he said.
"After getting down at Chengannur by Malabar Express at 6 am, the KSRTC bus took nearly seven hours to reach Pampa."
"The long wait at trekking path and at Saramkuthy was beyond imagination. After reaching Sannidhanam at 8 pm, I was forced to wait during the night for neyyiabhishekam for the next day," he added.