The holy hillock of Sabarimala witnessed heavy rush on Sunday as scores of devotees from different parts of South India undertook their annual pilgrimage to offer prayers at the Ayyappa shrine on the on the new year day.

Pilgrims had to wait for eight to ten hours inside the long-winding iron barricades to reach the temple premises.

A majority of the pilgrims were from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

AP help desk Andhra Pradesh Government has already opened a help desk (Phone: 04735-202004) at the Sannidhanam in the service of the scores of pilgrims visiting Sabarimala during the Makaravilakku festival.

ASI dies of heart attack

A 51-year old Additional Sub Inspector of Police attached to Kottappady police station in Ernakulam district, Suresh of Ambamanoor in Kunnathunad village in Ernakulam, died of heart attack at Amrita Hospital at Pampa on Sunday. The body has been shifted to Pathanamthitta General Hospital, later.

2 pilgrims die of heart attack

Two pilgrims have also died of heart attack at Erumely and Pampa on Sunday.

A 75-year old pilgrim, identified as Madhyanemi Subramanyam from Ananthapuram district of Andhra Pradesh died of cardiac arrest while climbing the Appachimedu hill. The body has been shifted from the Cardiology Centre at Appachimedu to Pampa, later.

In another incident, a 40-year old pilgrim identified as Muniyandi from Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu, who had developed chest pain at Erumely reportedly died of heart attack on the way to the nearby Community Health Centre on Sunday, police said.

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