The Kerala High Court issued orders on Monday to the five Devaswom boards in the state to ensure there is no presence of plastic in the ‘irumudikettu’ (offerings) that Sabarimala pilgrims carry to the temple. The orders have been issued by the division bench to the Travancore, Kochi, Malabar, Guruvayur and Koodalmanikyam Devaswom boards that control the biggest temples in the state.
The court stated that the Devaswom boards must give appropriate directions to the temples under their jurisdiction so that the priests do not include, plastic utensils and items in the ‘irumudiketti’. The bench gave the orders on a suo motu case it took on the presence of plastic in the offerings. Last year, it had issued similar directions to the Travancore Devaswom Board, that administers the Sabarimala temple.
The Sabarimala temple opened for the annual ‘mandala-makaravilakku’ festival this year on the evening of November 16, a period during which lakhs of devotees are expected to descend on the hilltop shrine from different parts of southern India. The mandala pooja is scheduled on December 27 after which the sanctum sanctorum closes for three days. It reopens again on December 30. The ‘makaravilakku’ festival falls on January 15.
Sabarimala, a shrine located atop a hill deep inside the Periyar Tiger Reserve, has been declared a ‘no-plastic’ zone. For years, the state administration and the police operate a green protocol to limit the use of non-biodegradable substances.
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