Devotees visit temples in Dakshina Kannada

Devotees visit temples in DK

Devotees stand in squares marked to maintain social distancing at Kukke Subrahmanya Temple on Monday.

After more than two months, devotees started visiting the temples, including that of Kukke Subrahmanya, Shri Kshetra Dharmasthala, Kadri Manjunatha, Mangaladevi, Polali Rajarajeshwari and Bappanadu Durgaparameshwari in Dakshina Kannada.

Devotees wore masks and used the hand sanitisers provided at the entrance of the temples and maintained social distancing by standing on the markings made inside the temple while waiting in a queue to have darshan of the presiding deities at Kukke Subrahmanya and Shri Kshetra Dharmasthala, which saw devotees from outside the district visiting.

The devotees, as per the tradition, took a dip in River Nethravathi at Dharmasthala before proceeding to the temple. 

Daily mass feeding of devotees was held in the dining hall at Dharmasthala from 10.30 am to 2 pm, and 7 pm to 10 pm. Except for Dharmasthala, all other temples in the district have not started mass feeding.

The staff at the temple were seen checking the temperature of the devotees using a thermal scanner at the entrance.

“Not many devotees have visited the temple from the morning. People are still scared to come out in public places fearing Covid-19 and its spread,” said a priest of a temple in Mangaluru.

“Once all the sevas commence, the influx of devotees to temples will increase. Now, Theertha, Mangalarathi, ‘Anna Prasada’ are not offered in the temple. The devotees can only have a darshana of the presiding deity in the temple,” said a shopkeeper near the temple.

Further, a banner in front of the temples stated that below 10-year-old kids, pregnant women and senior citizens should avoid visiting the temples as a precautionary measure.

The guidelines in front of Kadri Manjunatha Temple urged the devotees not to touch pillars, chariot, books and other items inside the temple.

Restrictions to continue

Kateel Durgaparameshwari Temple management has decided to continue the restrictions of the lockdown period for a few more days.

“Two Covid-19 cases have been registered in Kateel Gram Panchayat and neighbouring Ekkaru Panchayat jurisdiction. Hence, it has been decided not to lift the restrictions,” stated the temple management committee.

The Kateel temple is mulling over working on a module on the lines of special darshan at Sri Venkateshwara Temple in Tirupati. However, there will be no charge for devotees. The software which is being developed will permit devotees to come to the temple at a specified time for darshan.

At Kukke Subrahmanya Temple, the authorities have made arrangements to collect address and phone number of the devotees at the entrance of the temple.

DK district has 36 ‘A’ category temples, 44 ‘B’ category temples, and 416 ‘C’ category temples.

All the sevas in temples in DK were cancelled as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of Covid-19 from May 17 and the temples remained closed since the lockdown.