It is paradoxical, on one side there is a lot of hue and cry since Kannada actress-turned-producer Jayamala claimed that 19 years ago she entered the sanctum sanctorum of Sabarimala and laid her hands on the feet of the idol of Lord Ayyappa but on the other side lord Ayyappa is being served and worshipped by a lady priest.
In the Kolar temple, Lord Ayyappa is being worshipped by a woman priest, and a dalit at that. She is Shantha Kumari. Shantha Kumari is a strong and confident woman who wears many hats. She is a Karnataka Administrative Service officer and a self-proclaimed priest of the temple that she and her husband have constructed. The Shantha Malai Ayyappa Swamy temple in Kolar district, about 100 km from Bangalore would have been like any other were it not for the fact that it was built by a dalit woman who is also its chief priest…
This temple has no restrictions as the actual Ayyappa Temple but all women need to do to enter is to take permission.
With this news in air, hundreds of Ayyappa devotees are coming in bulk to this barely known temple even though the Sabarimala controversy is still alive.