A deserted Chamundi Hills on Ashada Shukravara

The first Friday of the Ashada season saw a deserted Chamundi Hills which otherwise tends to be teeming with devotees and tourists.

This was because the authorities have banned the entry of public to the hilltop and the temple on all the four Fridays (June 26, July 3, July 10 and July 17th) and the weekend following it, to prevent large congregations.

The decision was taken in view of the surge in COVID-19 cases across the State and the imperatives of ensuring that there was no community spread. Sri Chamundeshwari temple atop the hills is a destination for all seasons but the floating population of the devotees reaches a high during the Ashada season and especially on Fridays.

But the prevalence of the pandemic forced the district administration to take the decision which was announced beforehand. Not only was the temple and the hills out of bounds for the public, even the steps leading to the hill top was barred for use. KSRTC, which otherwise operates additional buses from Mysuru to Chamundi Hills, suspended its services.

The temple priests performed the daily rituals. though there was no darshan for the public. However, on other days of the week (from Monday to Thursday) during Ashada, the temple and the hills will remain open to the public but it comes with a caveat. If social distancing cannot be maintained due to the crowd, even this arrangement will stand suspended.

The same restriction holds good for the Vardhanti mahotsava to take place during the Ashada season. The rituals related to the event will be conducted by the priests, sans public. Sri Chamundeshwari temple reopened on June 8 along with other Muzrai controlled temples in the State but the crowd is thin and a fraction of the normal due to the pandemic.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 9:08:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/a-deserted-chamundi-hills-on-ashada-shukravara/article31925333.ece

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