Mysore/Mysuru: In a bid to prevent the spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, with a large crowd expected usually for the annual Rathotsava, the famed Chamundeshwari Temple atop Chamundi Hill will be closed for devotees and tourists from 6 pm today till 12 noon tomorrow (Oct. 29) on account of Rathotsava to take place tomorrow morning.
Deputy Commissioner Rohini Sindhuri has issued an order to this effect, according to which entry of devotees to the Hill Temple by road or by climbing of steps has been banned from 6 pm today till 12 noon tomorrow as a precautionary and safety measure and also to avoid crowding atop the hill for Rathotsava.
Accordingly, barring Government servants on protocol duty and emergency service vehicles, all types of private vehicles and members of the public are barred from visiting the Hill Temple during this period. Also, mass feeding or distribution of prasada by the temple authorities or by other donors in the vicinity of the temple has been prohibited.
Meanwhile, it is learnt that the Rathotsava will take place between 9.40 am and 10.05 am in the auspicious Dhanur Lagna tomorrow in the presence of Royal family members Pramoda Devi Wadiyar and Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar.
As the Jatra associated with the Rathotsava will not take place this year due to the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, only the small Ratha (Chariot) will be used for carrying the presiding deity, instead of the usual big Ratha. With the Rathotsava just a day away, the temple authorities have made all necessary preparations for conducting a simple yet traditional Rathotsava, that takes place after Vijayadashami every year. Amidst the ban on devotees, the customary rituals will be conducted in the presence of temple staff, by following COVID-19 norms that are in place.
In view of the Rathotsava, Police have provided tight security all around the Hill Temple for ensuring a safe Rathotsava. The Police will also be deployed at the foothill steps in order to stop the devotees from climbing the steps to reach the Hill Temple.