The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) on Thursday, 11 June, decided that Kerala’s Sabarimala temple will not be open for the public for the monthly prayers. Kerala Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran said the decision was taken following a meeting with the temple’s chief priest.
Speaking to the media on Thursday, the chief priest, Mohanarus, said: “With regard to holding this temple festival, it was not a decision that the Devaswom board had taken unilaterally. I had suggested and sent a letter saying we can hold it in June. But, it was not the same scenario as May. Last month was very peaceful. Even the situation in the state was peaceful. But now, it is quite serious.”
The TDB, a government-appointed body, runs Sabarimala and other major temples in south and central Kerala. The Hindustan Times reported that the chief priest had sent a letter to the TDB commissioner and spoke to TDB chairman N Vasu about delaying the opening.
The central government had allowed reopening of places of worship for devotees, malls and restaurants from 8 June across the country. They have been shut since 25 March, when the lockdown was first imposed to check the spread of the pandemic.