Authorities have decided to permit only a limited number of devotees to visit Sri Padasthanaya this season under strict health guidelines, officials confirmed today.
The Sri Pada pilgrim Season 2020/2021 will commence on the Unduwap full moon Poya Day on December 29.
A meeting to decide on preliminary arrangements in this regard was held under the chairmanship of Sabaragamuwa Province Governor Tikiri Kobbekaduwa and Central Province Governor Lalith U. Gamage at the provincial council auditorium in Ratnapura on Tuesday (8).
The meeting was organised by Chief Incumbent of the Sri Padasthana and Galpottawala Sri Pada Rajamaha Vihara in Pelmadulla Ven Bengamuwe Dhammadinna Thera.
The committee decided that only 200 devotees would be allowed in during the religious observances to commence the pilgrim season in the upper compound of the Sri Padasthana on December 29. It was decided that the pilgrims should register with the respective Divisional Secretariat and obtain a certificate.
Governor Tikiri Kobbekaduwa stressed that the Sri Pada Perehera would be held under the health guidelines in view of the COVID -19 pandemic.
The main motorcade carrying the casket of sacred relics and the statue of the guardian god of the Sri Padasthanaya, God Sumana Saman would leave Galpottawala Sri Pada Rajamaha Vihara in Pelmadulla on December 28 and reach Nallathanniya in the evening and from there the casket of sacred relics and the statue will be taken in procession to Sri Padasthana in the early hours of the next morning. The motorcade would not stop on the way to receive charity or poojas.
Several teams of Ayurvedic Physicians, doctors and PHIs would be providing their services to the pilgrims on the four routes.
Ratnapura District Secretary Malani Lokupothagama, Nuwara Eliya District Secretary B.R.Pushpakumara, Secretary to the Central Province Governor G.A.Tilakarane, Director of Health Services, Central Province Nihal Weerasuriya, and Ratnapura District Director of Health Services H.S.Panditharatne were present at the occasion.