Temples to remain shut during lockdown in Kerala

Temples to remain shut during lockdown in Kerala
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Thiruvananthapuram: Major temples in Kerala including the famed Lord Ayyappa shrine in Sabarimala will not be opened for devotees during the time of nine-day lockdown in the state, being imposed by the government from Saturday morning to curb the COVID--19 surges.

The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), the apex body in the southern state which manages over 1,200 temples, on Thursday said shrines under its management would not permit devotees in its premises for darshan during the lockdown period.

However, daily rituals would be conducted without any fail, TDB authorities said here.

The time of rituals may be rearranged during the period from 7 AM-10 AM and 5-7 PM after consulting with the 'tantri' (head priest) of the respective shrines, they said.

No festival should be conducted during the lockdown period but marriages booked in advance can be held outside the temples with a restricted number of participants and completely adhering to COVID protocols, it said.

Though the Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala would be opened for the monthly rituals from May 14-19, devotees would not be permitted for darshan at the hill shrine due to COVID surge and lockdown, the TDB said in a statement.