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Devaswom president- The New Indian Express

By Express News Service

IDUKKI:  The heavy rush of pilgrims at Mangaladevi temple in Kumily, when the temple opened for one-day Chitra Pournami festival, has brought smiles to the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which has demanded that the temple should be opened for one day every month.  

However, the Forest department authorities said it is impossible as the temple falls in the buffer zone of two tiger reserves and the guidelines of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) do not allow human interference in the area. “There are thousands of devotees in Kerala and Tamil Nadu who want to visit the ancient temple. In my opinion, the temple should be allowed to open one day every month which will facilitate the pilgrims to offer prayers.

I will convey this to the government. We know the forest department is not supportive. If there are practical difficulties they should allow to open the temple once in three months. This will reduce the rush on Chitra Pournami day,” TDB president K Ananthagopan told TNIE.

Reacting to the demand, a top officer of the Forest department said the Devaswom Board will have to approach the NTCA. “The temple is located in the buffer zone of two tiger reserves and the guidelines of the National Tiger Conservation plan are applicable at Mangaladevi. It is a pristine wildlife habitat and we have to conserve it. The huge crowd and the jeep service will disturb the wildlife,” he said.

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