Ashada Shukravara Puja Rituals Atop Chamundi Hill: After 2 Years, Entry For Devotees This Time
Mysore/Mysuru: With the threat of COVID-19 and its potent variants subsiding and with a boost in the confidence achieved after the double dose and a booster dose of vaccination, the District Administration has taken a decision to allow devotees to Chamundi Hill for ‘Ashada Shukravara’ puja rituals in the auspicious Ashada month that begins tomorrow.
The Ashada Friday rituals at Sri Chamundeshwari Temple atop the Chamundi Hill in 2020 and 2021 were restricted for devotees due to the COVID pandemic and none were allowed inside the Temple. This year, however, there will be an open entry and the District authorities are gearing up to increase devotee convenience and at the same time, ensure order.
The first Ashada Friday will fall on July 1 and subsequently, there will be four Ashada Fridays and the birthday of Goddess Chamundeshwari in between (see box).
At a meeting convened last evening to discuss the Ashada month puja rituals, Mysuru District Minister S.T. Somashekar asked the authorities to make preparations as thousands of devotees will come to the Temple on all Ashada Fridays and the Chamundeshwari Vardhanti. as they did not get a chance to see the rituals last year and in 2020 also.
No private vehicles
The meeting decided that no private vehicles must be allowed on Ashada Fridays to the Hill and devotees have to use the public transport. People can travel for free on the buses as a makeshift bus stand will come up on the 18-acre land on the foothill of Chamundi near Lalitha Mahal Palace. Over 50 KSRTC buses will ply from morning till evening.
However, vehicles of VIPs will be allowed along with the vehicles of the people associated with the Temple and also the residents of Chamundi Panchayat. The cost incurred after providing a free bus ride from the foothill to the Temple will be borne by the Chamundi Temple Management Committee.
Two doses of vaccination
This apart, there will be a regular bus service to the Hill from the City Bus Stand but this will not be a free service. Two doses of vaccination are a must to enter the Temple and health workers have been asked to check the vaccination certificate besides the RT-PCR negative reports, not less than 72 hours.
Over 20 to 30 teams including health workers will be constituted to check the devotees at various counters. Physical vaccination certificates or online certificates can be displayed before entering the counters.
Security and Prasadam
Donors can distribute Prasadam in plantain leaves and ‘Donne’ and permission has been granted to distribute the Prasadam at the bus shelter near the Mahishasura Statue. Passes will be provided to volunteers and officers to manage the crowd and ensure order. CCTV cameras will be fixed all along the route and also at the Temple premises and the visuals will be continuously monitored.
All the basic facilities for devotees will be provided at the Temple premises and also at the place where the parking and bus facility has been arranged. Cleanliness, drinking water, plastic-free zones, electrification, setting up of barricades, mobile toilets and water-proof sheds will be the overarching factors that will be implemented.
Responsibilities have been fixed on the officers and staff from Mysuru City Corporation (MCC), Mysuru Urban Development Authority (MUDA), Police, Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Corporation, Public Works Department, Forest and other Departments.
MP Pratap Simha, MLAs G.T. Devegowda, S.A. Ramdas, L. Nagendra, MLC C.N. Manjegowda, In-Charge Mayor Sunanda Palanetra, MUDA Chairman H.V. Rajeev, Deputy Commissioner Dr. Bagadi Gautham, ADC Dr. B.S. Manjunathaswamy, ZP CEO B.R. Poornima, City Police Commissioner Dr. Chandragupta, MCC Commissioner G. Lakshmikantha Reddy, DCP (Law and Order) Pradeep Gunti, DCP (Crime and Traffic) M.S. Geetha Prasanna, MUDA Commissioner G.T. Dinesh Kumar, Chamundeshwari Temple Chief Priest Dr. Shashishekar Dikshit and other Department officers were present at the meeting.
For devotees to keep in mind
- First Ashada Friday : July 1
- Second Ashada Friday : July 8
- Third Ashada Friday : July 15
- Chamundeshwari Vardhanti : July 20
- Fourth Ashada Friday : July 22
- Hill temple will open for devotees on Fridays from 5.30 am to 8.30 pm
- Free bus facility from foothill from 3 am
- Bus facility on Chamundeshwari Vardhanti from 7 am
- Special darshan at Rs. 300 and Rs. 50
- Double dose vaccination is mandatory
- If unvaccinated, RT-PCR negative report not less than 72 hours must
- Physical, mobile or online vaccination certificates can be produced