Muslim devotee among the dead pilgrims

Many Saba (24), who was part of a 20-member group from Karwar in Karnataka, had undertaken nearly 2 month strict traditional penance to undertake the trip to the hill shrne of Ayyappa.

After witnessing the 'Makara Jythothi' as they began descending the hill, the group, which had a seventh standard student and 6 'Kanni swamis (devotees who had trekked sabarimala for the first time), got dispersed. Finally, they could spot everyone except, Saba, says Vijesh shetty.

They searched him for nearly an hour and later at the hospital where the injured had been taken. However, only yesterday morning, they found him among the dead with bruises all over his body, said a wailing shetty.

The team had set out for sabarimala on Jan 8 and after the darshan at the Ayyappa temple, had reached Pulmedu on Friday morning. The Sbarimala temple, considered the oldest shrime in India, is open to devotees of all religious background.

Vavar, a close friend of lord Ayyapa, was a muslim and devotees who visit the shrine first offer prayers at the vavar mosque before trekking the temple.

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