New rules in force at Saneeswara temple during 'Sanipeyarchi'

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Karaikal, Dec 19 (PTI) With eight days to go for the'Sanipeyarchi'(transit of Saturn) festival, new regulations and entry restrictions came into effect from Saturday at the Lord Saneeswara temple in Tirunallar in the Union Territory of Puducherry.

The temple in Karaikal district is dedicated to Lord Saneeswara.

Saturn's transit from one zodiac sign to another is celebrated as 'Sanipeyarchi' festival which is held once in two-and-a-half years.

The last Sanipeyarchiwas in 2017. This time, the festival is to be held on December 27 (Sunday).

The festival attracts several lakhs of pilgrims from various parts of the country.

Due to the spread of COVID-19 this year, the district administration imposed restrictions.

The new regulations would be in force from today (December 19) till February 14, 2021 (48 days after the festival), said district Collector Arjun Sharma.

Accordingly, pilgrims who wish to visit the temple during the weekends would have to register on the temple's official website Only those with a valid registration letter would be allowed into the temple on Saturdays and Sundays between December 19 and February 14, said the Collector.

Pilgrims would have to wear masks and thermal-scanning would be taken at the entry point.

Social distancing norms should be adhered to in the temple, said the Collector.

Pilgrims would not be let to take a holy dip in any of the temple tanks.

No 'archana' and special poojas would be performed, said the Collector.

Children below 10 and elders with co-morbiditiesare advised to refrain from taking the pilgrimage this time.

Temple executive officer Aadarsh, Karaikal district senior Superintendent of Police Niharika Bhatt and the district Collector Arjun Sharma reviewed the festival arrangements at the town on Saturday.

A large number of pilgrims, who had made registration on the website, thronged the temple today. PTI COR NVG NVG