Women in the Sabarimala Temple of Trivandrum were prohibited from entering the temple in their menstruating age until Supreme Court stroke it down for good, supporting the gender equality and marking a full stop on the taboo.
As the presiding deity of Sabrimala temple is Lord Ayappa –a celibate, it was not considered correct for the women who menstruate to worship him, entering the temple. They were considered impure to do so.
Ayappa, in Kerala, is less of a god and more of a historical figure. Panthalam is a small kingdom of Patthanamthitta district in Kerala, whose prince was Ayappa. While visiting the temple, all the pilgrims, be it from any caste, have to wear black, which symbolizes the renunciation of all worldly pleasures. The pilgrims are also asked to observe asceticism for 40 days before visiting the temple.
According to the Puranic legend, Ayappa was the son of Vishnu and Shiva –a reunion of divine forces. So the birth of Ayappa does not involve an actual physical relationship between a man and a woman.
But this Lord Ayappa, who is deemed as the epitome of inclusiveness has barred women from entering his temple so that he is not distracted while answering the prayers of his devotees.