The Sabarimala temple in Kerala will remain closed to the public until further notice due to the overflowing Pamba river, authorities said on Thursday.
The temple was closed on August 13 following massive floods.
According to the temple authorities, the floods have caused damage worth Rs 100 crore to its infrastructure.
A. Padmakumar, President of the Travancore Devasom Board which manages the Sabarimala temple, told the media that they had no other option but to close it down.
The sluice gates of two dams that form a part of the Sabarigiri project, were opened after heavy rains and subsequent floods ravaged places in and around the temple town.
However, all the religious rituals of the temple will be conducted.
Following the decision, several pilgrims from Tamil Nadu who had planned for a pilgrimage have cancelled their trip.
The temple is open only from the middle of November till the middle of January, but for several years now, it is kept open for a few days at the start of every Malayalam month which falls during the middle of every month.
Earlier, it was reported that Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala will remain temporarily inaccessible to pilgrims following flooding of the Pampa Triveni bridge.
The bridge was submerged due to water gushing from the opening of two dams as a result of heavy downpour in the district.
The shutters of the Kochupampa and Anathode - Kakki dams (which provide water to the Sabarigiri Hyderoelectric Plant) in Pathanamthitta district were opened due to rising water levels.
Pilgrims traveling to Sabarimala were instructed not to visit the temple as the river was flowing in full spate in the region.
The district administration was monitoring the situation and had restrained devotees at Erimeli and Pathanamthitta.
With IANS inputs