A stray dog has been following a team of 13 Ayyappa Maladharis (devotees), who are on an annual barefoot pilgrimage to Sabarimala, from Andhra Pradesh to Chikkamagaluru district in Karnataka.
The canine has been following the group and has trekked 480 kilometres so far. The dog tagged along with the devotees, led by Rajesh Guruswamy, a resident of Todar in Mudabidri of Dakshina Kannada district.
The dog tagged along with the devotees, led by Rajesh Guruswamy, a resident of Todar in Mudabidri of Dakshina Kannada district.
Initially, the dog remained unnoticed by the devotees until they realised that the animal had been showing up behind the group now and then.
#WATCH Karnataka: A stray dog has been following a group of 13 Ayyappa devotees, who are on a pilgrimage to Kerala's Sabarimala & has walked 480 km so far. The devotees started from Andhra Pradesh's Tirumala on Oct 31 & have reached Chikkamagaluru dist's Kottigehara now. (17.11) pic.twitter.com/9ke8uFwRCt— ANI (@ANI) November 18, 2019
"We did not notice the dog initially. But as we continued, it kept showing up behind us every now and then. We offered it the food we prepare for ourselves. We perform Sabarimala pilgrimage every year, but this is a new experience," said the devotees.
They also said that the animal got its paws injured a couple of times and was treated by local veterinarians, adding that the group will now take its four-legged friend to Sabarimala in their spiritual journey.
The Sabarimala Temple was opened on November 16 for the 41-day long annual Mandala-Makaravilakku Puja festival.