The Mangaladevi Temple festival will be observed on the Chithra pournami Day on Sunday. Various arrangements have been made for the smooth conduct of the festival and the pilgrims are allowed entry to the temple only once a year on the Chithrapournami day. The temple lies on the Kerala and Tamil Nadu border inside the Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) and a large number of devotees from Tamil Nadu are expected on the day. Separate poojas in Malayalam and Tamil will be conducted by the priests from both the States.
Sanjayan Kumar, PTR deputy director told The Hindu on Friday that plastic is strictly banned inside the forest and pilgrims with five litre can of water or above will be allowed inside the forest. The pilgrims can visit the temple from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the vehicles to the temple will be allowed till 3 p.m. Police officials from both the States will provide drinking water to the pilgrims on way to the temple.
The rate of charge for a person in a jeep trip for to and fro journey from Kumili has been fixed at Rs 50 and the taxi rate is Rs 700. The pilgrims will get the entry pass from the temporary office to be set up on the premises of the Kumili bus stand. Issuing token for conducting taxi services to the Mangaladevi Temple has already been started from the Kumily police station. Two and three wheelers are completely banned on the forest path and only 12 persons are allowed entry in a jeep, said the Kumily police. Strict action will be taken against rash driving on the ghat road. About 100 police officials will be deployed for traffic purpose. The pilgrims' entry into the vehicles will be allowed only from the Kumily bus stand or on the premises of the Mangaladevi Temple. Various Hindu organisations and non-governmental organisations will supply meals free of cost to the pilgrims reaching the temple.