Temples closed for devotees till Sunday

With no devotees being allowed, the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam wore a deserted look on Friday.

With no devotees being allowed, the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam wore a deserted look on Friday.

Following fresh COVID-19 curbs in places of worship announced by the State government in view of the spike in COVID-19 cases, devotees were barred from entering temples in Tiruchi region starting Friday till Sunday.

The entrances to the temples were closed by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department which put up flex banners outside the shrines informing the devotees that they would not be permitted inside in accordance with the government’s directive till Sunday.The department officials said poojas were, however, performed as usual to the deities in all sannidhis. Major temples in Tiruchi such as Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam, Sri Jambukeswarar Akilandeswari Temple, Tiruvanaikoil, Arulmigu Mariamman Temple, Samayapuram, and Rockfort Sri Thayumanaswamy Temple were all out of bounds for the general public.

Announcements were made through the public address system at the Samayapuram Arulmigu Mariamman Temple conveying the government’s decision.Food items were distributed in packets to the general public at the temple.


The three-day weekend closure has apparently hit those who depend on the temples and devotees for their livelihood.

Sale of `puja’ materials such as flowers, coconuts, fruits, ghee lamp sets etc. are the major earning of families residing around temples such as the Big Temple in Thanjavur, Mariamman Temple in Punnainallur, the Saivaite and Vaishnavite temples in Kumbakonam and the ‘navagraha’ temples around Kumbakonam.

Consequent to the outbreak of the pandemic two years ago, some of these vendors had to shut down their business and look for other sources of income as entry for devotees to temples was barred by the State government. Those who sell artefacts and other commodities and have established their units in spaces rented out to them by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Department such as at the ‘mandapam’ of Sri Aadhi Kumbeswarar Temple have also taken a beating.

A few months ago, the traders had heaved a sigh of relief after the State government relaxed some norms which ensured the entry of devotees into the temples.

But their hopes have hit a roadblock again with the State government denying the entry of devotees into temples on weekends.

Instead of banning the entry of devotees, the traders have pleaded that the government should consider ways to ensure personal distancing and adherence to other COVID-19 appropriate behaviour by devotees.

Meanwhile, HR and CE department officials in Thanjavur and Tiruvarur districts have ensured that the State government’s instruction to keep temples closed for devotees for three days from Friday to Sunday was implemented without fail.

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Printable version | May 25, 2022 12:38:39 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/temples-closed-for-devotees-till-sunday/article38169349.ece