Thousands of devotees will converge at Aluva Manappuram as Mahasivarathri celebrations will be held in an atmosphere of religious fervour on Sunday.
The sandbanks of the Periyar River attached to the Mahadeva Temple wore a festive look on Saturday evening. The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) had made all arrangements for the smooth conduct of the festival.
About 300 ‘bali tharas’ have been set up at the venue for offering ‘bali tharpan’. About 500 priests will assist the devotees in performing the rituals. Bali tharas have also been set up at the nearby Advaithashramam.
M.T. Jacob, chairman of Aluva Municipality, said a temporary bridge from Kottarakkadavu to the venue would ensure the smooth passage of devotees from the town to the spot.
About 1,500 police personnel would provide security cover to the rituals and celebrations. Satish Binoo, Superintendent of Police, Ernakulam Rural, said collection of toll would be stopped for the two days of the festival.
Service of swimmers and experts from the Navy and police force along with support facilities such as boats and life jackets would be made available at ghats and river banks.
Special police parties would be deployed at railway stations and neighbouring areas for controlling crowd movement. Surveillance cameras have been installed extensively to monitor the crowd. Sale and consumption of liquor and begging would be banned in Aluva municipal area for two days, he said.
The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation will operate special services to Aluva.
Private buses from Varappuzha-Edayar areas should turn left immediately before Paravur Junction while coming along UC College route and take Seminary Road to park near Karunakaran Nagar from 4 p.m. on Sunday to 11 a.m. Monday. Buses returning from Karunakaran Nagar should take the same route.
Private buses from Angamali should end the trip at the test ground near Paravur Junction and return from there. Buses, both private and KSRTC, coming from Ernakulam along National Highway should turn right from Pulinchode Junction to take Karothkuzhy Junction and Fire Station to reach Private Bus stand.
Space has been marked out for first five KSRTC buses reaching there and the rest should be parked at the garage at Pulinchodu.
Private buses and KSRTC buses from private bus stand should take the service road to proceed towards Pulinchodu. KSRTC buses from Perumbavoor area should take Pump Junction to reach the temporary parking facility in front of MG Town Hall and return from there.
Private buses from Perumbavoor should travel along Power House Road to reach Government Hospital Junction and Karothkuzhy Junction to reach the bus stand and on the way back, take service road to reach Pulinchodu Junction, turn left to Karothkuzhy Junction, Hospital Road and Power House Road to continue the service.
No traffic will be allowed from Bank Junction to MG Town Hall and no parking will be allowed on either side of National Highway and side roads.