New Delhi: The wait for devotees of Lord Ayyappa has almost come to an end. The doors of the Sabarimala shrine in Kerala will open on November 16 marking the beginning of the two-month-long annual pilgrimage season.
Around 30,000 devotees per day will be allowed for darshan through a virtual queue system. The sanctum sanctorum of the Sabarimala temple will open at 5 PM on November 15 in the presence of chief priest (Tantri) Kandararu Mahesh Mohanararu by outgoing priest V K Jayaraj Potti, PTI reported.
The pilgrimage will be held in strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols. The Kerala government had earlier issued COVID-19 SOPs for devotees.
Check out the full guidelines here:
- The certificate of both COVID-19 vaccine doses or a negative RT-PCR report taken within 72 hours is mandatory to enter the shrine.
- The devotees will be asked to produce original Aadhaar cards, a TDB official said.
- Trekking to the temple will be permitted only through the Swami Ayyappan Road.
- Devaswom Board has been directed to make arrangements to give ‘Neyyabhishekam’ (the anointed ghee) to all.
- Parking for vehicles will not be allowed in Pampa. However, Pampa snanam (bathing in river pampa) will be allowed.
- No devotees will be allowed to stay in Pampa and Sannidhanam.
The appointment ceremony of the newly selected priests (melsantis) of Lord Ayyappa and Malikappuram temples in the hills will be held on November 15 evening.
The 41-day Mandala puja festival will end on December 26. The shrine will reopen on December 30 for the Makaravilakku pilgrimage. The Makaravilakku is on January 14, 2022. The Sabarimala temple will be closed on January 20, 2022.
Meanwhile, the Kerala Police is taking all measures including strengthening the security to ensure a smooth Sabarimala pilgrimage season.