Only pilgrims with both doses of vaccine or negative RT-PCR to be allowed at Sabarimala

The vehicles transporting the devotees will be permitted up to Nilackal. The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses will operate services to ferry devotees from Nilackal to Pampa. 

Published: 07th October 2021 05:51 PM  |   Last Updated: 07th October 2021 06:50 PM   |  A+A-

Devotees worship Makarajyothi at Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple | File pic

By Express News Service

With the pilgrim season at the popular Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala set to begin on November 16, the Kerala government on Thursday informed that initially up to 25,000 people, likely to be revised later, will be permitted each day. 

"The government is keen to allow maximum number of devotees to offer darshan. The situation would be further assessed and if possible more than 25,000 people would be allowed," Devaswom Minister K Radhakrishnan said.

The pilgrim season will see strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols, a review meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan decided on Thursday.

The devotees must have taken two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine failing which they will have to furnish a negative RT-PCR test.

24x7 healthcare services will be in place during the season.

The vehicles transporting the devotees will be permitted up to Nilackal. The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses will operate services to ferry devotees from Nilackal to Pampa. 

Authorities said that the pilgrims will be permitted to take the customary holy dip in the Pampa Triveni.

Sufficient toilets and cloakroom facilities will be ensured at KSRTC bus stops and other places. The virtual queue facility for darshan will continue.

Meanwhile, Minister Radhakrishnan informed the State Assembly that elaborate arrangements have been made for the Mandala Pooja Maholsavam.

The government has called for a fire and structural safety audit of buildings, hotels, and commercial establishments along the Sabarimala route. It will be mandatory for commercial facilities to install smoke detectors and fire alarms.

The government has allowed darshan for women pilgrims below 10 and above 65 years of age.

But for the tribal people, other devotees would not be allowed to take the forest route, which is unsafe for them, to reach the temple.

The devotees who have had darshan will not be allowed to stay at the Sannidhanam. Alternative arrangements would be made so that the devotees were not forced to stay back for prasadam after offering darshan, the minister said.

As usual, the Kerala police and Travancore Devaswom Board's online portal will be available for pilgrims to access services like a virtual queue, prasadams, pooja and accommodation facilities.



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