Thiruvananthapuram: In the forthcoming Mandala Makaravilakku pilgrimage season, the Kerala government will enable only a limited number of devotees by following the COVID-19 protocols.
Addressing the media, the Chief Minister said, “Sabarimala is the most important pilgrimage centre in our state, but in the wake of COVID pandemic, it has been decided to hold this year’s Mandala Makaravilakku pilgrimage with a limited number of pilgrims without symbolically reducing any rituals.”
The entry to Sabarimala shrine will be strictly regulated through the Virtual queue system of Kerala Police to a limited number of pilgrims.
“Arrangements will be made for the pilgrims who register through the virtual queue system. Those above the age of 65 years and below 10 years will not be allowed. Pilgrims should come with COVID negative certificate. To ensure that corona infected people do not reach the shrine, antigen tests will also be conducted at varuous centres with the help of the health department,” he said.
The Chief Minister added, ” Devotees should return immediately after the darshan at Sabarimala. They will not be encouraged to stay back in Pampa and Sannidhanam. Drinking water will be provided in steel containers for a refundable cost of Rs 100, on the return of the container. Annadanam will be only for limited pilgrims and will be served on paper plates.”
“As public bathing in the river cannot be allowed, sprinkler or shower system will be installed for bathing at Pampa and Erumeli. The Thiruvabharana procession in connection with the Makaravilakku will be conducted in full compliance with the COVID protocol,” he added.