Thiruvananthapuram: After almost seven months, Sabarimala temple in Kerala reopened for the devotees on Saturday.
As a precautionary measure, devotees have been asked to carry a COVID-19 negative report and wear masks at all times at the shrine.
The temple, which reopened for a five-day puja, will allow pilgrims to offer prayers till October 21.
Only 250 people will be allowed inside the temple per day to avoid rush and devotees will have to get bookings for darshan through the virtual queue system, as stated in the new guidelines issued by the state government.
On Saturday, as many as 246 devotees registered through the virtual system.
The state government has come up with strict protocols amidst the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Kerala.
Under which, a coronavirus negative certificate – 48 hours before reaching the shrine – has been made mandatory.
Rapid antigen tests will be conducted at Nilackal for those devotees who fail to carry a COVID-19 negative test report.
Only those between 10-60 years, having a medical certificate which states that they are fit to trek the holy hill, will be allowed to offer prayers.
This is the first time since March 25 that devotees are being allowed to offer prayers at temple.