Unlock I: Here's a list of religious places that will open or remain closed in Kerala

Despite government nod, many places of worship to remain shut in Kerala

Despite getting government's nod to reopen from June 9, many places of worship will remain closed till the end of the month to check the spread of COVID-19, going by the decisions of the various religious leaders.

Places of worship have remained closed in the state since March 23.

Churches under the Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese of the Syro Malabar Catholic Church will not open till June 30, Archbishop of the diocese Antony Kariyil informed on Sunday.

The churches will however, be opened for personal prayers, weddings and baptisms.

The weddings should not have more than 50 persons. Baptisms and funerals may be attended by 20 persons only.

Pilgrim centres of the diocese will also remain closed for devotees.

The Changanassery archdiocese has also decided against opening the churches immediately. But the churches will be opened for personal prayers, Archbishop Mar Joseph Perunthottam said. Other archdiocese churches are yet to make a decision.

Pilgrimage at Malayatoor Church will not be permitted till June 30.

The decision to open Syro-Malabar Catholic Archeparchy (Knanaya) churches will lie in the hands of the respective parish, Chief Metropolitan Kuriakose Mor Severios informed.

Latin Catholic churches in Kollam will also remain shut till June 13. Believers Church will not open till June 30.

Cheraman Juma Masjid, Kodungallur

Many mosques to remain shut

The administrative committees of Palayam mosques in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode will remain closed till further notices.

“We are unable to impose restrictions and hence decided not to open the mosque till further notice,” said a statement from the administrative committee of the Palayam mosque in Kozhikode.

Mosques in Kochi city and Thrikkakara will open only after the COVID-19 spread gets under control. Mosques in Malappuram district will also remain closed for the time being, the Coordination Committee said.

Mampuram Maqam and Madin Grand Masjid in Malappuram, Patallapali Mosque, and Malik Dinar Mosque in Kasaragod will also remain shut.

The difficulty in executing the guidelines issued by the state government to check COVID-19 spread appears to be the reason for taking this decision.

Kanthapuram A P Aboobacker Musliyar informed on Sunday that mosques in cities will remain closed. The Samastha Kerala Jamiat-ul-Ulema has issued guidelines for opening of mosques in Kerala.

Congress calls for legislative intervention on Sabrimala
Lakhs of pilgrims visit Sabarimala temple every year.

Kodungallur temple priest wants devotees to stay away from temples till June 30

It is not just Muslim and Christian religious leaders who are wary about opening up places of worship from June 8. The chief priest of Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple, too, has expressed doubts about temples opening their doors to devotees.

Here is how Thrivikraman Adigal, the chief priest of Kodungallur temple, described the opening of places of worship at this stage when COVID-19 cases are shooting up: "It will be like opening the umbrella when the sky turned cloudy and closing it when it actually rained heavily".

He wants devotees to avoid visiting the temple till at least June 30 and continue to do their prayers at home. "Experts have pointed out that there would be a greater spread of the virus between June 20 and 31," he said in a Facebook post on Sunday.

Apart from the safety angle, Thrivikraman Adigal also suggested that the restrictions were not conducive for worship. "It needs to be examined whether devotees would get the peace they seek in a temple when there are many restrictions on getting a 'darshan'. How practical a 'darshan' adhering to social distancing norms would be, remains to be seen. But even after all this, a devotee is prohibited from getting holy water and prasadam," he said.

There was also no pressing need to open places of worship at this point, Adigal said. "I don't think there is anyone who had lost sleep in the last two-and-a-half months because they were unable to get a glimpse of Guruvayoorappan or Kodungallur Devi. We should acquire the skill to invoke the Goddess in our minds," he said.

Adigal also sounded a bit contemptuous of people who appear desperate to get back to their temple routine. "Gold-plating the temple flag mast or the entry gate is not the way to reach God. Along with prayers, one should also engage in selfless service," he said.

The chief priest said devotees need not worry about the temple. "All this while, even when there were no devotees and income, pujas and rituals were carried out in the way they should be and without fail," he said.

Adigal also hinted at the cosmic dangers of major temples spawning COVID-19 clusters. "If this happens and temples shut down preventing the conduct of rituals, it will have serious repercussions for the land," he said.

He lauded the decision of certain mosques to delay the entry of devotees to check the spread of the virus.

Sabarimala, Guruvayur temples to open

Guruvayoor Sree Krishna Temple will open on June 14 while the Sabarimala will open on June 14. Marriages have been permitted in Guruvayur since June 4.

For more details on darshan timings and virtual booking, click here.

All temples under the Travancore Devaswom Board will be sanitised on Monday and opened to devotees on Tuesday. Hand washing facilities will be made available at the temple entrance. Sanitisers are to be avoided due to the presence of alcohol content in it, TDB President N Vasu informed.

Children below the age of 10 years and elderly individuals above 65 years of age will not be permitted inside the temple premises.

Chakullathukaavu Bhagvaty temple will open only after June 17. Status quo is to be maintained at the Mannarashala Nagaraja Temple till June 22.

Meanwhile, the Cochin Devaswom Board has informed that all the temples under it, including the Vadakkunathan and Chottanikara temples will be opened from June 9.

Velliya Palli
Along the banks of Meenachilriver, the road heads to the 'Velliya Pally' (big church).

Syro-Malakara, Orthodox, Jacobite churches to open

Metropolitan Archbishop of Syro-Malakara Church Thomas Mar Koorilose informed on Sunday that the denomination will open its churches to the public while strictly adhering to the guidelines issued by the government.

Each parish will hold additional mass to accommodate all the members of the parish and priests above 65 years of age will not be permitted in the church, the Metropolitan Archbishop said.

He however, added that putting a cap on aged people in religious centres was unfair.

Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (MOSC) and Jacobite Syrian Church will also reopen while adhering to the norms issued by the government.


Besides the standard operating procedures issued by the central government, the state has issued a few additional guidelines for opening up places of worship including prohibition of distribution of food, refreshments and offertory blessings (prasadam); exclusion of sandalwood paste or ashes offering in a plate; prohibition of handshake or physical touching during ceremonies; social distancing arrangements and collecting data of devotees visiting the centres.

Kerala government has said the maximum number of people inside a place of worship will be decided as per its size. Only 15 people per 100 square metre, maintaining a six feet distance between each other, can be allowed but must restrict to a maximum of 100 people at a time in the premises.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.