Protests turn violent at Indian temple as devotees try to keep women out

Hindu devotees take part in a protest against an Indian Supreme Court verdict revoking a ban on women's entry to a temple in Kerala state.

New Delhi (CNN)A temple in the southern Indian state of Kerala opened its doors to women for the first time in centuries Wednesday, but no women made it over the threshold.

Protestors lined the streets surrounding the centuries-old temple and congregated in groups at multiple entry points to stop any woman between the ages of 10 and 50 from making their way into the structure.
In a landmark ruling handed down last month, the Supreme Court overturned an age-old tradition prohibiting women of menstruating age from making the pilgrimage to the Sabarimala temple, triggering public outcry in the state.
Devotees, thousands of whom turned out this week, believe that the entry of women would desecrate the temple.
    Protestors gathered at a base camp Tuesday 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the temple and systematically checked state buses entering into the area to ensure that women were not making their way in.
    A Hindu devotee looks out from a shuttle bus going to the temple.

    Attacks on police, TV crews

    State police clamped down on the district Wednesday morning, deploying a 1,300-strong contingent of officers to ensure the safety of any women wishing to visit the temple.
    By late afternoon, however, the force appeared insufficient as thousands more violent protestors flocked to the base camp, assaulting the police and damaging their vehicles, causing security forces to respond with baton charges.
    A devotee displays his torn shirt during scuffles with police in the protest.