Devotees trek Sabarimala, pray at Lord Ayyappa temple
Sabarimala(Kerala): Wearing masks and strictly adhering to COVID-19 protocols, devotees of Lord Ayyappa trekked the holy hill Sabarimala and offered prayers at the famous temple here as it opened for the annual two-month-long Mandala-Makaravilakku season on Monday morning.
It is the first annual pilgrimage season at the hill temple after the Coronavirus outbreak and authorities have decided to restrict the number of devotees to 1,000 per day and to 2,000 on weekends.
However, the "Sannidhanam", the temple complex which used to witness a sea of devotees on the first day of the Malayalam month of Vrichikam, saw only a few devotees this morning.
Pilgrims, having Coronavirus negative certificates, were allowed to trek the hills since 3 AM from Pampa, the base camp, through a virtual queue system, temple officials
Devotees from neighbouring states were among the most who flocked the shrine in the initial hours, sources in the Travancore
Devaswom Board (TDB), that manages the hill shrine, here
In total contrast to normal times, when there would be a mad rush right from the holy 18 steps and in
front of the sanctum sanctorum
jostling for a glimpse of the
presiding deity, only a few scattered devotees in batches could be seen having a relaxed darshan on many occasions during the