5,000 pilgrims likely to be allowed at Sabarimala a day

Sabarimala: The authorities are planning to allow ve thousand pilgrims to visit the Swamy Ayyappa Temple here each day during the upcoming Mandalam-Makaravilakku annual pilgrimage. However, no pilgrims would be allowed to stay at Sannidhanam.

The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which manages the temple, has meanwhile started preparations to conduct the annual pilgrimage following COVID-19 protocols and a discussion would be held in this regard with the Chief Minister on September 28.

Entry to the Sannidhanam would be only through virtual queue pass and COVID-19 negative certicate will be mandatory. TDB is also planning antigen test at Nilakkal as pilgrims from other states start their journey several days in advance. The board has suggested that the Health Department make arrangements for the test.

TDB has urged the state government to allow pilgrims at the temple for Mandalam-Makaravilakku considering the age-old rituals involved. Moreover, in order to conduct a trial run, TDB also wants the government’s approval to open the temple to pilgrims during the monthly rituals of the Malayalam month of Thulam from October 16- 21.

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