Chamundi Hills in Mysuru will be out of bounds for pilgrims and devotees on four Fridays of Ashada masa (Ashada Shukravara) falling on June 26, July 3, July 10 and July 17 in view of COVID-19 pandemic and regulations in place to avoid mass gathering.
The same restrictions will also apply for all the four weekends on the above dates as a crowd control measure to fight the pandemic. This was decided by the authorities here on Tuesday as per which even the approach road to the hill top will be closed on the above days.
However, the temple will remain open for darshan on other days of the week. But in case the crowd was unmanageable and social distancing could not be maintained, then darshan would be suspended on other days as well.
Sri Chamundeshwari temple atop the hill attracts pilgrims in thousands during Ashada masa for which special arrangements are made every year including deployment of additional bus services all of which has been dispensed with this year following the decision to keep the public out.
Deputy Commissioner Abhiram Sankar said it was a unanimous decision. based on the feedback obtained from various quarters including the temple management, local MLAs, MPs, and district in-charge Minister S.T. Somashekar. “We respect the religious sentiments of the people but the present situation is a public health emergency and ensuring safety of the people is the highest priority’’, said Mr. Sankar.
It was opined that mass gathering could spread the coronavirus and derail the progress made in containing the pandemic. The season also coincides with the vardhanti mahotsava which too will be out of bounds for the public and only the priests will carry out the rituals in continuation of the traditions.
Sri Chamundeshwari temple reopened on June 8 along with other Muzrai temples in the State and has been attracting a steady stream of devotees. But it is only a fraction of the usual crowd so far.