Thiruvananthapuram, Apr 11 (PTI) Days after an elephant ran amok injuring 12 devotees at the famous Sabarimala shrine, the Travancore Devaswom Board, the apex temple body, today said it would continue parading the animals as it was a ‘ritual.’
The incident occurred on March 30, when the temple elephant was carrying an idol of Lord Ayyappa during the ‘aarattu’ procession, raising serious safety concerns.
The president of the board, A Padmakumar said it was not keen to make any change to the age-old traditions of the temple for now.
A ‘devaprashnam,’ the astrological consultation, would soon be conducted at the shrine to know the ‘divine will’ in continuing the tradition of using elephants for the temple ceremonies.
He said the Forest Department and some others were opposing the parading of elephants in the wake of the recent incident.
“We will not let anyone interfere in the ritualistic affairs of the temple. We will act only according to the suggestions that come up at the devaprashnam,” Padmakumar told PTI.
“If the devaprashnam suggests to continue with the parading of the elephants, we will abide by it come what may.
However, if the divine will is against it, we will not continue the practice,” he added.
The devaprashnam is be held in the Malayalam month of ‘Edavam’ (May-June), Padmakumar said.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.