Amid pandemic, subdued Makaravilakku festivities at Sabarimala this year


    Amidst pandemic, subdued Makaravilakku celebrations at Sabarimala this year

    Just those who produced unfavorable RT-PCR and antigen test results for Covid-19 were granted consent to climb up the hill from the base camp of Pamba. (File image)

    In contrast to in 2015, when nearly three lakh people thronged the Sabarimala temple premises, the celebrations of Makaravilakku today, the most important day of the yearly pilgrimage, will wear a suppressed appearance as an outcome of the ongoing pandemic

    Only 5000 pilgrims will be enabled into the temple complex Thursday to use prayers with rigorous Covid-19 procedures of using masks and social distancing in place, stated officials of the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which administers the hill-top shrine. Entry of pilgrims into the temple complex will be shut at midday.

    Throughout the yearly expedition, just those who produced negative RT-PCR and antigen test results for Covid-19 were given consent to climb the hill from the base camp of Pamba, ensuring little or no transmission of the disease.

    TDB president N Vasu informed reporters that though there is a significant decrease in the variety of pilgrims this year due to pandemic restrictions, all security arrangements remain in place to guarantee that those who do check out the temple are able to make a smooth and delighted pilgrimage. Adequate stocks of the primary offerings of appam and aravana payasam are available, he stated.

    Barriers have actually been put up at bottom lines to manage the flow of fans in the presence of a heavy security blanket. Pilgrims who reached Sabarimala and used prayers in previous days will not be allowed to remain back atop the hill for the Makaravilakku festivities.

    Mohan K Nair, vice-president of the Akhila Bharatha Ayyappa Seva Sangham, a pilgrim group, said they have actually sent only 70 volunteers this year to assist pilgrims due to low crowds.

    ” Typically, we send out more than 300 volunteers for Makaravilakku. But this year, due to constraints, there are less fans,” he said.

    By evening today, the Thiruvabharana procession from Pandalam palace, bring the sacred ornaments and jewels for the presiding deity, will reach Sabarimala where they will be offered a formal welcome by minister for temple administration Kadakampally Surendran and top authorities of the TDB.

    Around 6: 30 pm, the sanctum sanctorum of the temple will open for the auspicious Deeparadhana, with the divine being wearing the spiritual ornaments, followed by the sighting of the Makarajyothi in the Ponnambalamedu hills– the climactic moment of the yearly trip.

    However this year, individuals will not be allowed to assemble at places like Pullumedu, Pamba hill, Panchalimedu and Parunthumpara to see the Makarajyothi in view of the pandemic procedure.

    Pathanamthitta district, the house of the Sabarimala temple, has actually been seeing a rise in infections in current weeks and health officials have cautioned of consequences of big events.

    Income from pilgrim circulation into Sabarimala during Makaravilakku season this year has actually dramatically boiled down when compared to last year. This year, the TDB’s earnings was reported at Rs 6.33 crore up till January 12, compared to Rs 60.2 crores in the same period in 2015. This could require the TDB to ask the state government for extra monetary support.

    India, Kerala.
    ( the heading, this story has not been published by Important India News staff and is released from a syndicated feed.).


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