Travancore Devaswom Board’s (TDB) decision to increase the number of daily devotees permitted to visit the Sabarimala Temple comes as a sigh of relief to its devotees.
The number of devotees permitted to enter the Temple has been increased to 2000 on weekdays and 3000 on weekends and holidays. Currently, only 1000 devotees were allowed on weekdays and 2000 on weekends and holidays. Adhering to Covid-19 protocol guidelines, all precautionary measures have been taken at the shrine’s premises and base camps.
Earlier, the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) had urged the Kerala government to allow more number of devotees at the hill temple.
Through the virtual queue system, devotees will be allowed to book tickets to visit the Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple from today. Pilgrims must carry a health certificate stating that they are Covid-negative. The test must be taken 24 hours before they reach the Nilackkal and Pamba base camps, where Covid-19 testing facilities have been already been established. The pilgrims will not be permitted to stay at the temple premises.
Also, through ‘Swami Prasadam,’ devotees can now enjoy the Sabarimala prasadam as the Department of Posts has decided to deliver it throughout the country.
Meanwhile several people, including devotees, police personnel and temple employees, have tested Coronavirus positive since the temple was opened for the 62-day-long annual pilgrimage season on November 16.
In Sabarimala, doctors, including specialists, have been posted following a shift basis. On December 26, Mandala pooja would be held in Sabarimala.
On January 20, the temple would be closed after the auspicious Makaravilakku ritual, which marks the end of the season.