Sabrimala Ayyappa Temple is known to be an all male gathering for it restricts the entry of women between the age of 10 and 50. Not many women above the age of 50 can undertake the rigorous climb of the Sabrimala and hence you will not find many women at the Sabrimala Ayyapa Temple.
Lord Ayyappa is being considered as a Brahmachari god. Also the deeksha which consists of hard rituals to be followed by Ayyappa Devotees for 41 days are not possible for women due to the menstrual cycle and hence women in the age group of 10 to 50 are not allowed to enter the Sabrimala Ayyappa Temple.
The temple authorities have maintained this stance ever since and even a legal battle has not resulted in women gaining entry into the temple.
On the way to Sabrimala Temple, on the Laha Road alongside Pamba lies a small stone statue called Illayathampuratty Kallu. This statue is believed to be that of princess of Pandalam Palace and it stands as a warning post to women against undertaking a pilgrimage to Sabrimala.
According to legend, the princess insisted on accompanying the king on the first pilgrimage to Sabrimala even as the other female members of family stopped at Kakkad near Laha. However , she could not continue her journey due to unexpected menstrual problems. She told the king to proceed and decided to wait in a Kani tribal hut. When the king returned , he was shocked to see the princess had turned into a granite statue. This has upheld the belief that women should not be allowed to enter the Sabrimala Ayyappa Temple.