KOCHI, OCT 21 : The hill shrine of Sabarimala Ayyappa temple will be closed today evening (Wednesday) after completing the five day monthly poojas. Thantri (chief priest) Kandhararu Rajivaru will perform poojas at the sanctum sanctorum on the concluding day. In the evening the temple will be closed by 8.30 PM after the deeparadhana, padi pooja, athazha pooja and harivarasanam.
In compliance with the COVID-19 protocol, only 250 devotees were allowed for darshan during the five days through online booking. COVID-19 negative certificate was made mandatory to enter the shrine and those devotees coming without a negative certificate had to do an antigen test at Nilakkal pilgrim centre before entering the Sannidhanam. Pilgrims above the age of 60 were not allowed at the shrine during the monthly poojas.
Meanwhile, two devotees who came for darshan were tested COVID-19 positive. A pilgrim from Tamil Nadu was tested positive for the virus infection on Sunday and he has been shifted to the first line treatment centre at Ranni. Another devotee, a native of Adoor in Kerala tested positive during the antigen test conducted at Nilakkal, according to reports by Asianet News.
It was on October 17 that the hill shrine was opened for devotees after being shut for more than six months. The temple will be opened for the famed annual two-month long Mandala Makaravilakku festival on November 15.