The Sabarimala temple opened to devotees Saturday morning after remaining closed for over six months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with only a few worshippers wearing masks and carrying COVID-19 negative certificate offering prayers.
The temple, which opened for the monthly puja will allow pilgrims to offer prayers till October 21. Rapid antigen tests are being conducted at Nilackal for those not carrying a negative test report for COVID-19. This is the first time since March 25, when a nationwide lockdown came into force, that pilgrims are being allowed to offer prayers at the temple, which opened at 5 am, the Travancore Devaswom Board said.
Each day only 250 people will be allowed inside the temple. Though the temple opened on Friday evening for the monthly puja, entry of devotees was allowed only from today, the first day of ”Thulam”. Only those between 10-60 years, having a medical certificate stating that they were fit to climb the holy hill, are being allowed to offer prayers. Due to the pandemic, the pilgrims will not be allowed to stay at Sannidhanam, Nilackkal or Pamba.