Skeletal staff deployed at the temple following the government’s COVID-19 norms
The Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala was closed after the five-day monthly rituals in the Malayalam month of Karkidakom on Monday.
No devotee turned up for undertaking pilgrimage to the forest shrine all these five days, as entry for devotees to all temples attached to Travancore Devaswom Board was prohibited as part of the ongoing intensive prevention drive against SARS-CoV-2 across the State.
The TDB permitted only the customary routine daily rituals such as Ganapati homom, abhishekom, ushapuja, deeparadhana, utchapuja and athazhapuja at the Ayyappa temple during the monthly puja period.
However, the board has given opportunity to devotees to make bookings online to make offerings (vazhipadu) like pushpanjali, Ganapati homom, archana, etc, at the Ayyappa temple and at the adjoining Malikapuram Devi Temple.
The Tantri, Kandararu Maheswararu Mohanararu, assisted by the Melsanthi, A.K. Sudheer Namboodiri, performed the Ganapati homom, Kalasabhishekom and Utchapuja.
The temple was closed after the Athazhapuja, marking the culmination of the five-day monthly puja on Monday evening.
Only skeleton staff have been deployed at Sabarimala. The prasadom counters and Annadana Mandapam, too, remained closed.
The Ayyappa temple will be opened again on August 8 afternoon for the annual Niraputhari celebrations to be held on August 9.
The Niraputharipuja will be held in the auspicious muhurthom between 5.50 a.m. and 6.20 a.m. on August 9, according to the Tantri.
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