Thiruvananthapuram: The wait is finally over as the sanctum sanctorum of the Sabarimala shrine was reopened on Saturday at 5 PM. The hill shrine of Lord Ayyappa is now open for devotees for a two-month pilgrim-season.

A new priest will now take over the charge of the temple. It must be noted that devotees will be able to visit the temple from November 17, 5 AM.

Prior to that, 10 women devotees were sent back from Kerala’s Pamba, news agency ANI reported. The women, in the age group of 10 to 50 years, had come from Andhra Pradesh to offer prayers at Lord Ayyappa’s shrine.

Commenting on the aforementioned development, Activist Trupti Desai told the news agency, “Yesterday, the government said that they won’t provide security to women, so women are going to Sabarimala Temple without protection. Now, women are being stopped, so I think the government is working completely against women.”

In view of the opening of the temple, security has been beefed up across Kerala.

Over 10,000 police personnel have been reported to be posted around the hill temple. Speaking to reporters, Pathanamthitta district collector had said that there was no need for declaring prohibitory orders like 2018.

The Supreme Court had Thursday referred the Sabarimala review pleas to a larger bench, while maintaining that it will not stay the September 28, 2018 order that allowed women of age bars to enter the temple, lifting the age-old barrier.

Unlike last year when women devotees were provided security, this time, the Kerala government has made it clear that it will not make any effort to see that women were taken to the temple to pray.

Kerala Police chief Loknath Behra told the media that everything was in place and he would be meeting the advocate general to get first-hand knowledge of the Supreme Court verdict. “Today, we will be observing things and depending on the situation, things will be reviewed,” said Behra.