By SM .27 Jan, 2021
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala government has decided to conduct the famous "Attukal Pongala" festival as per the COVID-19 protocol.
Amid growing concerns of the virus spread, the authorities have restricted the devotees from performing Pongala rituals on pavements and other public places close to the Attukal temple. Hence, the pongala ceremony will be limited inside the temple compound only. At the same time, the devotees are allowed to perform the Pongala ritual at their houses.
A decision to this effect was reached after a meeting presided by Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran.
Sabarimala model virtual queue system will be implemented in Attukal temple to limit the number of devotees as per COVID protocol. The number of devotees allowed for the festival will be determined later. This time, only a few corporation wards close to the temple will be declared as festival zones.
A high-level meeting presided by the minister was held after the temple trust appealed to the government to form guidelines for the festival. ‘Annadanam’ will be carried out as per Green protocol and COVID restrictions.
It was also decided to cancel rituals associated with the festival like ‘Kuthiyottam’, ‘Vilakkukettu’ and ‘Thalapoli’.
Various departments are in charge of many arrangements in the temple ahead of the Pongala festival. Minister Kadakampally Surendran has directed the officials to take immediate action to complete all arrangements on time.
MLA VS Sivakumar, Mayor Arya Rajendran, councilors, devaswom principal secretary KR Jyothilal, city police commissioner Balram Kumar Upadhyay, temple trust committee members, and various department officials attended the meeting.