Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, visited the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala in Pathanamthitta district early on Thursday morning and offered prayers. It was his 26th pilgrimage to the hill shrine, and the first as a Union Minister.

Chandrasekhar had travelled from Bengaluru with the ‘irumudikkettu’ (the travel pouch of Sabarimala pilgrims) and arrived here on Wednesday evening. He commenced his trek uphill from the base camp of Pampa along the traditional route in the company of thousands of devotees. After the darshan of the deity, he climbed down the hill by the afternoon and reached Kochi in the evening from where he took off for Delhi.

The Union Minister later tweeted that ‘climbing the 18 steps up to Lord Ayyappa’s abode n then getting his darshan - your tiredness vanishes n his blessings energize u.”