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Lord Ayyappa devotees trek Sabarimala adhering to COVID-19 protocols

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Each day, just one,000 pilgrims could be allowed to supply prayers.

Wearing masks and strictly adhering to COVID-19 protocols, devotees of Lord Ayyappatrekked the holy hill Sabarimala and provided prayers on the templehere because the shrine opened for the annual two-month-long Mandala-Makaravilakku season on Monday morning.

It is the first annual pilgrimage season on the hill temple after the coronavirus outbreak.

“Sannidhanam”, the temple complicated which used to witness a sea of devotees on the primary day of the Malayalam month of Vrichikam, noticed solely few devotees this morning.

Pilgrims had been allowed to trek the hills since three a.m. from Pampa, the bottom camp, by way of a digital queue system, temple officers stated.

Pilgrims from neighbouring states had been among the many most who flocked to the shrine within the preliminary hours, Devaswom Board sources right here stated.

Mask-wearing staff of Travancore Devaswom Board, which manages the shrine and police personnel stored vigil at varied factors from the bottom camps to the temple complicated to make sure that devotees adopted the COVID-19 protocols in a strict method.

Each day, just one,000 pilgrims, who’ve booked by way of the digital queue system, could be allowed to supply prayers.

They have to hold COVID-19-negative certificates obtained 48 hours earlier than they attain Nilackkal and Pamba, base camps.

COVID-19 kiosks had been opened on the base camps for testing and the pilgrims gained’t be allowed to remain on the temple premises, official sources stated.

According to Travancore Devaswom Board, about 85,000 devotees would offer prayers throughout this pilgrim season.

During Saturdaysand Sundays, 2,000 folks could be allowed for darshan and on Mandala pooja and Makaravilakku days 5,000 pilgrims could be permitted, it added.

In view of the pandemic, the Health division has made elaborate preparations for antigen checks in varied centres together with all bus stands and railway stations at Thiruvananthapuram, Tiruvalla, Chengannur and Kottayam, the place pilgrims arrive to proceed to the Ayyappa temple.

As per COVID-19 protocols, these within the 10-60 age group would solely be allowed to supply prayers on the shrine, the place lakhs of devotees go to annually in the course of the pilgrimage season.

Doctors, together with specialists, had been posted on a rotation foundation for seven days every whereas all different workers had been posted on a rotation foundation for 15 days from November 15 to January 19 subsequent yr, sources added.

The auspicious Mandala pooja could be held on December 26.

After the Makaravilakku ritual on January 14, the temple could be closed on January 20, marking the tip of the season.

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