Kerala: Sabarimala Temple reopens today with various COVID restrictions; Details inside
The hilltop temple dedicated to Lord Ayyappa will open on Monday evening, and visitors will be able to pay their respects starting on Tuesday. The temple will initially be open for the 41-day Mandala puja event, which concludes on December 26.
The Mandala-Makaravilakku celebration, which will span two months, will reopen the Sabarimala temple in Kerala's Pathanamthitta district on Monday. The hilltop temple dedicated to Lord Ayyappa will open on Monday evening, and visitors will be able to pay their respects starting on Tuesday. The temple will initially be open for the 41-day Mandala puja event, which concludes on December 26. According to rumours, it would reopen on December 30, with darshan permitted till January 20 for the Makaravilakku celebration. Veena George, the state health minister, stated that the government had made extensive preparations for pilgrims to avoid the spread of Covid-19.
Here's a list of measures that are taken by the government:
- Visitors visiting the shrine must have either a complete immunisation certificate or a negative RT-PCR test report that is no more than 72 hours old.
- All worshippers must also present their Aadhaar cards. Security will be enhanced in and around Sabarimala due to the Mandala-Makaravilakku celebration.
- Five emergency medical centres and oxygen stations would be built along the road from Pamba to Sannidhanam.
- Anyone having an irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, or chest discomfort while visiting the temple should seek medical assistance right once.
- At all times, trained staff nurses and other medical services would be available.
On Sunday, George informed news agency ANI that special meetings were held at the state level in Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kottayam, and Idukki districts to coordinate operations. However, as torrential rains pelt Kerala, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said following a meeting of district collectors and authorities that the number of pilgrims visiting the Lord Ayyappa shrine at Sabarimala will be curtailed for the next three to four days due to the severe rains.
The release stated that ritualistic bathing in the Pampa River will be prohibited due to dangerously high levels, that spot booking will be halted for the time being, and that changing dates of those who booked through the virtual queue system will be considered in order to control the flow of pilgrims.