Sabarimala, Jan 10 (Agencies): Security and crowd management measures have been stepped up at Sabarimala and the foothills Pampa as the pilgrimage of Lord Ayyappa temple on the 'Makarasamkranthi' is set to conclude in four days.

Kerala Government and temple authorities are making preparations to ensure smooth conclusion of the two-month long pilgrimage, as the arrival of devotees is expected to go up considerably in the coming days.

Annually, over 30 million pilgrims visit the shrine located on the periphery of Periyar Tiger Reserve, making it one of world's biggest pilgrimages.

Most of the devotees visiting the temple in the final phase of the pilgrimage are from Andra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, officials said.

An additional 450 policemen had been deployed on the uphill 'Sannidhanam' alone, taking the total size of forces available to nearly 2000, including commandos, taskforce and Disaster Response personnel, officials said.

Steps had been taken to strictly check intrusion of devotees through unguarded forest areas to ensure that no person reaches the shrine without going through the scanners and detectors installed at main entry points, police sources said.
Kerala State Road Transport Corporation would operate additional services to ease the rush of home-bound devotees after the Makaravilakku festival.