Sabarimala temple to open today, medical certificate mandatory for devotees
Sabarimala: After 6-month-long break, devotees will throng the famous Lord Ayyappa temple from Saturday onwards. The temple doors will open for the rituals in the Malayalam month of Thulam on Friday at 5 pm. It is for the first time the temple is reopening for devotees amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
250 devotees who have booked for darshan via virtual queue will be allowed to visit the temple per day. 1250 people will be allowed to visit the temple as per the COVID protocol till October 21.
Rituals like ‘Padi puja’ , ‘Udayasthamaya puja’ and ‘Kalabhabhishekam’ will be held every day. Selection of chief priests for Sabarimala and Malikappuram temple will be carried out on Saturday at 8 am. Devotees will be allowed inside the temple from Saturday at 5 am.
Hospitals ready for devotees
Hospitals were opened at Nilakkal, Pamba and Sannidanam ahead of the reopening of Sabarimala, informed Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
Devotees will not be comfortable wearing mask while climbing the hills. All devotees must wear a mask throughout their visit to the temple except while climbing the hills. All arrangements were completed to ensure a safe visit to the temple.
Police force under a police superintendent was also deployed on the temple premises.
Those who visit the hill shrine must possess a medical certificate certifying they are fit for climbing the hill.
At the same time, devotees in the age group between 10 and 60 will be allowed to visit the temple. Devotees will reach the temple in the time allotted during virtual queue booking.
Devotees are restricted from travelling as a group. Entry to the temple is only allowed via Vadasserikkara and Erumely.
Regular services to Pamba will be operated from Pandalam and Pathanamthitta depots.
Additional buses will be operated if more than 30 devotees reach at a time.
Nilakkal-Pamba chain service will not be operated
Small vehicles to be allowed
Small vehicles carrying devotees will be allowed to enter Pamba. These vehicles should be parked at Nilakkal after dropping the devotees off at Pamba.
COVID test at Nilakkal
Devotees must possess COVID negative certificate issued within 48 hours.
Those who do not have the certificate must undergo an antigen test at their own expense.
Devotees who test COVID positive will be restricted from mounting the hills.
Mask is compulsory
Social distancing norms should be followed throughout the pilgrimage
No littering on the way to the shrine.
Arrangements at Pamba
Pilgrims are restricted from bathing at Pamba river
Showers are arranged
Special bathrooms for women, 150 toilets
Devotees should travel to the shrine via service road after crossing Triveni bridge.
‘Kettu Nirakkal’ ritual at Ganapati temple is also restricted.
Devotees have to produce the documents received via virtual booking before the police counter near Ganapati temple.
Hot water will be supplied in a steel bottle at Rs 100 from Pamba. Devotees should return the bottle while leaving the temple.
Ginger water will be supplied on the forest path.
Travel via Swami Ayyappan road
Devotees must travel and return via Swami Ayappan road.
From Marakkoottam region, they will be allowed to head to Sannidanam via Chandranandan road.
Arrangements at Sannidanam
Hands and legs should be sanitised in the area before climbing the holy steps ‘Padinettam Padi’.
No police service at ‘Padinettam Padi’.
Counter to receive ‘nei thenga’ (ghee filled coconut) behind the sanctum sanctorum.
No ‘prasadam’ will be given from Sannidanam.
Offerings at Malikkapuram temple should be deposited in the allotted space.
Ghee will be given as ‘Prasadam’ while leaving ‘Malikkapuram temple’ via the north door.
Appam and aravana will be available from the counter near the ‘Aazhi’(sacred fireplace).
Devotees are restricted from camping in the shrine.
Restrictions at Sabarimala
Devotees will not be allowed to meet Tantri, chief priest and other priests
No bathing in Bhasmakulam.
‘Sayana Pradakshinam’ also banned.
‘Nei Thenga’ (coconut) breaking at the shrine also banned.
‘Annadanam’ at Sabrimala
‘Annadanam’ (offering food) will be carried out for devotees on a limited scale at Pamba and Sannidanam.