sabrimala temple
Devotees inside the Sabarimala Temple, Kerala. [Representational Image]Wikimedia Commons

A woman activist from Idukki set herself on fire with petrol during a march demanding the review of the recent Supreme Court verdict, permitting women of all ages to worship at the hill shrine in Sabarimala.

Ambili was among hundreds of Ayyappa devotees who had blocked state and national highways in various parts of Kerala on Tuesday. She was immediately whisked away by police.

The 'Antarrashtriya Hindu Parishad' (International Hindu organization) was among the outfits which launched the protests. The outfit was kickstarted by Praveen Togadia after being sidelined from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. Rahul Easwar, activist and President of Ayyappa Dharma Sena, took out a march from Hanuman Kovil to Palayam.

Thousands of devotees squatted on the road at Killipalam in the state capital, from 11 am to noon, chanting 'Ayyappa Sarnam'. The march was taken out from the medical mission junction to the Pandalam Ayyappa temple and allowed ambulances and vehicles carrying patients to pass.

The activists held placards stating that the court was not bigger than Lord Ayyappa and called for a suitable legislation to be enacted by the state and central government to maintain the age-old ban.

At Pandalam in Pathanamthitta district, the Ayyappa Dharma Samrakshana Samithi headed a march under the leadership of the Pandalam Royal family and observed Tuesday as 'Ayyappa Dharma Samrakshana' (Save Lord Ayyappa) day.

The Pandalam Palace Nirvahaka Sangam denied some social media reports that the Pandalam palace would not hand over the "thiruvabharanam" (sacred ornaments worn by Lord Ayyappa) to temple authorities during the Makaravilakku festival, to protest against the court verdict.

The roads were blocked at Kollam, Alapuzha, Palakkad and Kochi. The AHP said it would also instigate taking signatures from believers visiting temples against the verdict.

On September 28, a constitution bench of five judges headed by former CJI Dipak Misra lifted the ban on entry of women of menstrual age into the shrine.