Major Kochi temples to open tomorrow

Ban on offerings including Thulabharam

After remaining closed for almost three months during the COVID-19 lockdown, a few major temples that are under the administrative control of the Cochin Devaswom Board (CDB) will be thrown open to worshippers on Tuesday.

They include the Siva Temple, Ernakulam; Sree Krishna Temple, Ravipuram; Devi temples at Valanjambalam and Chottanikkara and Sree Poornathrayeesa Temple, Thripunithura. Most of the 406 temples managed by the Board would be open from Tuesday, said A.B. Mohanan, president, CDB.

Sanitation drives will have to be carried out in all temples. Wearing of face mask has been made mandatory for devotees.

Thermal screening

Worshippers and management committees have been asked to strictly follow physical-distancing norms and health guidelines issued by State and Central governments. Worshippers will be screened for fever using thermal scanners. They will have to register their names, address and contact numbers at temples. Hand sanitisers and liquid soaps will be provided. Only 10 persons would be allowed entry into temples at a time, said Mr. Mohanan.

Devotees aged 60 years and above and children below10 years will not be allowed entry. Temple employees should wear masks and gloves. There will be only one entry and exit point to temples. There is a ban on offerings to temples including Thulabharam. Devotees would not be allowed to take sandal paste and Theertham (sacred water) on their own. Display boards detailing the instructions to be followed while entering temples should be displayed, said a circular issued to temple management committees.

All set

“Preparations for receiving worshippers have been made at Siva Temple,” said P. Rajendraprasad, president of Kshetra Kshema Samithi.

Thermal scanners, hand sanitisers and liquid soap dispensers have been arranged. Devotees would not be allowed to stay inside the temple precincts during the time of rituals, he said.

The Board authorities don’t expect a heavy rush of devotees on day one. “There is a growing understanding about the COVID-19 situation and the need for maintaining physical-distancing norms among the general public. So the devotees are unlikely to reach temples in large numbers,” Mr. Mohanan said.

The CDB has suffered a loss of around ₹45 crore during the lockdown period as most of the annual temple festivals and rituals had to be called off. As revenue sources dried up, the Board had to depend on the interest accumulated on fixed deposits in banks to pay salary of its around 2,000 employees, he said.

Meanwhile, the Ameda Temple authorities issued a press release saying that the temple, located at Udayamperoor near Thripunithura, will remain closed to the faithful for some more time.

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Printable version | Jul 15, 2020 6:09:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/major-kochi-temples-to-open-tomorrow/article31779755.ece

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