Sabarimala all set for 'Makaravilakku'

The famous Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala and its premises have been brought under a heavy security blank as arrangements are in full swing at the hill shrine for the auspicious 'Makaravilakku' on Wednesday, the finale of the over two-month-long annual pilgrim season.

In view of the continuing heavy rush, more personnel of police, NDRF and Rapid Response Force have been deployed in and around the shrine for crowd management and to ensure the safety of devotees, the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which manages the hill temple, said.

"The rush of devotees has increased considerably since Sunday. So, 200 more police personnel of various ranks have been deployed in and around the shrine exclusively for crowd management," a TDB statement said.

Over 1,400 police personnel including 15 DySPs and 36 Circle Inspectors are on duty at 'Sannidhanam', the temple complex, alone. A 70-member bomb squad and a 20-member telecommunication wing were also on alert at the shrine complex, the release said.