The Sabarimala temple in Kerala on Wednesday opened its doors for devotees for Chithira Attavishesha Puja. The temple would close at 9 pm after the puja and the devotees will be allowed through the virtual queue booking system, informed Travancore Devaswom Board.
The board added that the devotees will have to produce a vaccination certificate, showing they’re fully vaccinated or a negative RT-PCR report not older than 72 hours. The minister has also confirmed that all arrangements for the Sabarimala pilgrimage will be completed on time, with the health department also setting up five emergency medical centres nearby, as well as a testing centre for COVID-19 in Nilakkal.
The medical centres will have facilities such as an external defibrillator, devices for monitoring blood pressure and first-aid kits for the devotees. Arrangements have also been made for around 470 buses of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) for the pilgrims, out of which chain service between the Nilakkal and Pampa base camps would be conducted by 140 buses.
The government has closed the traditional forest trekking path to Sabarimala via Erumeli and Pulmedu and police and forest officials would be patrolling the trail. The Kerala government has also advised devotees who have recently recovered from coronavirus or have health issues, to take a doctor’s permission before undertaking the six kilometres trek from Pampa to Sannidhanam.
The state government had restricted the number of daily visitors to the temple to less than a 1,000 in view of the COVID-19 situation in the state.