Woman devotees of Lord Ayyappa on Friday took a vow in Chennai to undertake pilgrimage to the Sabarimala hill shrine only in keeping with age old traditions and avoid visiting it notwithstanding a favourable Supreme Court verdict.
Woman devotees, under the auspices of the Sabarimala Ayyappa Seva Samajam, took the vow at Valluvar Kottam in Chennai after a puja-ceremony to the accompaniment of 'chenda melam,' a traditional percussion instrument of Kerala.
Devotees held banners and placards like "save the tradition," and said Ayyappa is a "Naishtika Brahmachari' (celibate) and hence upholding the tradition they would visit the shrine only after crossing the menstrual cycle.
Male devotees also attended the programme, christened "sathyapramanam yerkum nigazchi (an event to take vow)."
Speakers at the event spoke on the hoary tradition of the shrine and the importance of abiding by it.
Recently, the apex court had paved the way for women of all age groups to visit the Sabarimala temple where women between 10 and 50 were not allowed.