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No Devotees to Be Allowed into Sabarimala Temple for 10-day Annual Fest from March 29: Officials

For representation: Devotees arrive at the Lord Ayyappa temple that opened for the two-month long Mandala-Makaravillakku pilgrimage season, in Sabarimala. (Image: PTI)

For representation: Devotees arrive at the Lord Ayyappa temple that opened for the two-month long Mandala-Makaravillakku pilgrimage season, in Sabarimala. (Image: PTI)

The hilltop shrine will be opened from March 28 for the 10-day festival ending on April 7, Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which manages the temple, said in a release.

Thrissur/Pathanamthitta: The Kerala government on Friday decided not to allow pilgrims to the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala in Pathanamthitta district for the annual festival beginning March 29 to check the coronavirus spread. The Guruvayur Lord Krishna temple at Thrissur will remain closed for devotees from March 21 until further notice, officials said.

"Both the temples will continue their rituals and poojas but will remain closed to devotees," they said.

The hilltop shrine will be opened from March 28 for the 10-day festival ending on April 7, Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which manages the temple, said in a release.

"The decision was taken after the district collector, who is also the district Disaster Management Authority chairman, submitted a report suggesting restricting the devotees from visiting Sabarimala temple due to the increasing cases of COVID-19 in the country," the release said.

Till now there are nine positive cases of COVID-19 in Pathanamthitta district, according to officials.

Guruvayur temple sources on Friday said it will not allow devotees inside the temple from March 21 as part of the

government's instructions to restrict devotees to prevent spreading of COVID-19.

"Rituals and poojas will continue inside the shrine. Wedding ceremonies, choroonu ceremony (feeding rice for the

first time to a baby) and 'udayasthamana' pooja has been cancelled until further notice," said a Guruvayur temple official.

As per the latest reports, 30 people, including foreign nationals, have been diagnosed with coronavirus in the state.

first published:March 20, 2020, 20:08 IST