The famous Bengaluru Karaga will be held as per schedule on April 8, but will be a low-key event.
The State government has instructed Mayor M. Goutham Kumar to conduct the festival with ‘only a handful of people’.
BBMP officials and councillors too have been instructed to restrict the number of people visiting Dharmarayaswamy temple on account of COVID-19 restrictions. Sources said the government was against breaking the tradition of holding the festival and therefore asked the BBMP to make arrangements to conduct it as per schedule.
A. Rajagoppol, chairman, Managing Committee, Dharmarayaswamy Temple, said the Karaga would be conducted within the temple premises in a traditional manner and the public will not be allowed.
“There will be around six people within the temple, including the priests. We are now planning to livestream it so that devotees and people of our community can watch,” he said. The Karaga is celebrated by the Vahnikula Kshatriya community.
P.R. Ramesh, MLC, who belongs to the community, said that a few elected representatives orally requested the Chief Minister to permit the celebration within the temple premises. “The CM has kindly consented. We request all the devotees and community members to cooperate,” Mr. Ramesh said.
Earlier, on Monday, it was decided to cancel the Karaga and was also communicated to the temple management by Deputy Commissioner (Bengaluru Urban).