Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) has decided to allow more devotees daily to visit the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple. The number of devotees has been increased from the present 1,000 to 2,000 on week days and from 2,000 to 3,000 on weekends and holidays.
All necessary precautionary measures have been taken at the shrine premises and base camps adhering to COVID-19 guidelines.
Pilgrims will be allowed to book tickets, starting from Wednesday morning through the virtual queue system, to visit the hill temple.
It is mandatory for devotees to carry coronavirus negative certificates taken 24 hours before they get to Nilackkal and Pamba base camps, where Covid-19 centres have been set up for testing. The devotees will not be allowed to stay at the temple premises.
Meanwhile, several people including pilgrims, police personnel and temple employees, have tested positive for coronavirus in Sabarimala so far since the Lord Ayyappa temple was opened for the annual pilgrimage season on November 16.
Doctors, including specialists, have been posted on a rotation basis in Sabarimala. The auspicious Mandala pooja would be held on December 26.
After the Makaravilakku ritual on January 14, the temple would be closed on January 20, marking the end of the season. It is the first annual pilgrimage season at the hill temple after the coronavirus outbreak.