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‘Precautions must at Dasara, Theerthodbhava venues’

With a spurt in COVID-19 cases in Kodagu, the ensuing Cauvery Theerthodbhava at Talacauvery on October 17 and Madikeri and Gonikoppal Dasara on October 17 and 26 would be celebrated with highest precautions. RT-PCR test has been made mandatory for all participants of the low-key events.

The participants, as per the opinion of the Talacauvery temple committee, would be subjected to the test on October 14 and 15. A COVID-19 negative certificate is a must to participate, said Deputy Commissioner Annies Kanmani Joy in Madikeri on Tuesday. She said no special buses will run to Talacauvery but route buses between Madikeri, Bhagamandala and Talacauvery will operate as usual. There is no provision for the devotees to stay at Bhagamandala and Talacauvery. Rituals by the devotees at Bhagamandala, however, will be allowed with precautions.

Those participating in the Karaga Utsava during Navarathri festivities must take the test on October 14 and 15 and the DHO will arrange the PCR tests. The Karaga Utsav participants must undergo the test twice and events on Dasara finale would end by 10 p.m., she added.

As a safety precaution, the Raja Seat and Abbey Falls will remain closed on October 17 and 26. This year, there will not be cultural events and procession in Madikeri.

According to the Hindu almanac, the time has been fixed at 7:03 a.m. on October 17 at Kanya Lagna. The event is marked by a sudden gush of water from the spring at the specified time and is considered sacred.

Usually, the event attracts a heavy rush of devotees who throng the site to watch the occurrence and collect the holy water. However, in view of COVID-19 this year, restrictions had been imposed on the devotees from visiting the site during the event.

The district administration has issued guidelines ahead of the event. The Theerthodbhava took place on October 18 last year.

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