Kerala’s Sabarimala temple to reopen today for monthly pooja

Published on Nov 02, 2021 08:41 AM IST

Devotees who were unable to visit the shrine in October due to the flood situation and had booked their slot, are also being permitted entry.

Those who are not yet vaccinated or have been partially vaccinated will be asked to show a negative RT-PCR report for the Covid-19 test.
Those who are not yet vaccinated or have been partially vaccinated will be asked to show a negative RT-PCR report for the Covid-19 test.

The Sabarimala temple dedicated to Lord Ayyappa in Kerala’s Pathanamthitta district will reopen on Tuesday for the Chithira Aattathirunal festival and due to the Covid-19 norms in place, devotees will be required to pre-book their slot of visit.

It is also mandatory for devotees arriving at the temple to be double vaccinated against coronavirus disease. Those who are not yet vaccinated or have been partially vaccinated will be asked to show a negative RT-PCR report for the Covid-19 test.

Devotees who were unable to visit the shrine in October due to the flood situation and had booked their slot, are also being permitted entry.

The hill-top shrine will be closed by 9pm after the Harivarasanam rituals. After the monthly puja, the Sabarimala temple will reopen on November 15 for the annual Mandalam-Makaravilakku festival.

On Saturday, Kerala Devaswom minister K Radhakrishnan said that all arrangements for the annual Sabarimala pilgrimage would be completed in a time-bound manner. A high-level evaluation meeting has also been held by the officials to take stock of the arrangements in the districts of Pathanamthitta, Kottayam and Idukki.

In view of the coronavirus pandemic, only 25,000 devotees will be allowed to visit the shrine per day during the festival. "Over 10 lakh devotees have already registered for the pilgrimage this time," K Radhakrishnan informed.

The health department will also set up a Covid-19 testing centre at Nilakkal and there will be five emergency medical centres for immediate assistance to devotees. "Emergency medical centres and oxygen parlours have been set up at five places along the Pampa- Sannidhanam route. These medical centres will have facilities for first-aid, monitor blood pressure and automated external defibrillator for those who face the risk of heart attack," the health department said in a press release on Saturday.

The administration has also made arrangements for as many as 470 buses of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) that would ply for pilgrims this year. Out of this, 140 buses would conduct chain service between Nilakkal and Pampa base camps.

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