Ahead of the re-opening after months, Sulwadi Temple was cleaned today (Oct. 21) and rituals will be performed for three days starting from this evening.
Chamarajanagar: The Kichguth Maramma Temple at Sulwadi in Hanur taluk of Chamarajanagar district, which was shut down for over 22 months after at least 17 devotees died and over 100 others took ill after consuming poison-laced prasada in December 2018, will now be re-opened for devotes from Oct. 24.
Chamarajanagar Deputy Commissioner (DC) Dr. M.R. Ravi has passed an order on re-opening the temple from Oct. 24. Accordingly, the temple will be open for devotees from 10 am to 6 pm on all days. However, there will be no special rituals, pujas or sevas. Devotees are not allowed to stay in the temple premises for the night and entry of devotees from neighbouring Tamil Nadu has been banned.
Also, there will be no teertha and prasada distribution and devotees will not be allowed to touch Mahamangalarati Jyoti. Anna Dasoha (mass feeding) has been banned and devotees have to follow all COVID-19 precautionary and safety norms.
Also, children below 10 years, persons aged over 70 years and pregnant women have been temporarily barred from entering the temple. Besides, there is a restriction on devotees arriving at the temple in goods vehicles, lorry, tractors and such other vehicles.
The Kichguth Maramma Temple had hit national headlines for all the wrong reason as 17 devotees lost their lives and over 100 fell ill after consuming poison-laced prasada on Dec. 14, 2018. Now, 22 months later, DC Dr. M.R. Ravi has ordered re-opening of the temple for devotees with a set of conditions in the wake of outbreak of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
Accordingly, devotees visiting the temple and the temple priests and staff are required to compulsorily wear face mask and maintain physical distancing of at least 2 mts between them. Thermal screening and use of hand sanitisers at the temple entrance has been made mandatory. The public have been asked to report to local Health authorities or call the District Control Room (1077) in case any devotee is found having COVID-19 symptoms.
DC Dr. M.R. Ravi has asked the authorities to erect boards in the temple premises and at other public places mentioning the COVID-19 guidelines to be followed by the devotees.
He has warned that action will be initiated against those violating the norms, as per Section 2005 of National Disaster Management Act and Section 188 of IPC.