Sabarimala priest for postponing temple opening, cites rising Covid-19 cases
The tantri said he has sent a letter to the TDB commissioner and spoke to TDB chairman N Vasu regarding the opening of the hill shrine.Updated: Jun 10, 2020 19:05 IST
As the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) is readying to open the Sabarimala temple for monthly poojas on June 14, the tantri of the temple (supreme priest) Kandararu Mohanararu on Wednesday said the opening of the shrine must be postponed due to rising Covid-19 cases in Kerala and neighbouring states.
The tantri said he has sent a letter to the TDB commissioner and spoke to TDB chairman N Vasu regarding the opening of the hill shrine.
The TDB runs Sabarimala (in Pathanamthitta district) and thousand-odd other temples in south and central Kerala. The tantri is usually considered as the final word on all ritualistic matters.
Citing a sharp increase in caseload in the neighbouring states, the priest said it is better to postpone the opening of the temple.
“Many pilgrims throng the temple from neighbouring states as well. It will be difficult to keep a tab on all devotees. So the festival and other functions can be postponed now,” he said, adding allowing devotees at this juncture will pose a serious threat.
His demand came in the wake of many Hindu organisations questioning the government’s decision to open shrines in the state. Earlier, the government had decided to allow ‘darshan’ for devotees at Sabarimala after applying virtual queue, submitting a Covid-free certificate obtained from a lab or hospital approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research.
Unveiling the graded exit plan under Unlock 1, the central government had allowed reopening of places of worship for devotees, malls and restaurants from June 8 across the country. They have been shut since March 25, when the lockdown was first imposed to stem the spread of the disease.