Mysore/Mysuru: The Vaikunta Ekadashi festival was a simple affair today in the city, sans any fervour and gaiety, as the Government last week announced fresh COVID protocol and restrictions, disallowing the devotees from entering temples during festivals that are going to take place this month, as a safety and precautionary measure to check the spread of the pandemic.
As the prominent temples where Vaikunta Ekadashi used to be celebrated with fervour in the past years — Sri Venkataramanaswamy temple on KRS road in Vontikoppal and Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy temple on Kalidasa road — were shut today, the devotees were seen praying from outside the temples. However, the customary pujas and rituals took place in the presence of priests and the temple staff in both the temples.
Devotees who visited Sri Yoga Narasimhaswamy temple in Vijayanagar First Stage too had to pray from outside as the Police were deployed to restrict entry into the temple.
However, devotees lined up in moderate numbers at Uttara Dwara (North entrance) of Sri Datta Venkateshwara temple in Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Ashrama on Mysuru-Ooty road, one of the very few temples of the city that allowed entry for devotee with COVID appropriate behaviour.
After performance of customary rituals associated with Vaikunta Ekadashi, the Sri Datta Venkateshwara temple was opened for devotees from 7 am till 3 pm. After a brief break, the temple was opened again for the devotees from 3.30 to 9 pm. All the devotees were required to produce their vaccine certificate of two doses and mandatorily wear mask for entering the temple. Also, devotees were sent only in groups of 50 at one time. There was no distribution of Prasada and Teertha as in the past.