Panchalinga Darshana at Talakad may go virtual amidst pandemic fears


To be held on December 14; authorities want to celebrate it on the recent Mysuru Dasara template, enforcing safety precautions

The Panchalinga Darshana mahotsav at Talakad can be celebrated the way Mysuru Dasara was celebrated, taking all precautions keeping in view the COVID-19 pandemic, Minister in charge of Mysuru district S.T. Somashekar has said. Panchalinga Darshana, The fest, which usually draws thousands of devotees, will be held on December 14.

After chairing a meeting of elected representatives and officials here today to discuss arrangements for Panchalinga Darshana, he said “It’s better we keep it virtual over a bar on large gatherings, like how we did for Dasara, livestreaming the events, as a precautionary measure in view of COVID-19. I have already discussed this with Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa.”

An expert committee will be constituted and it will visit Talakad ahead of the event for giving its suggestions on safe celebrations, complying with all mandatory SOPs, like the recommendations of the COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee when Mysuru celebrated Dasara this month. “Let us make the arrangements and plan things based on the recommendations from the committee,” he told the meeting.

Mr. Somashekar suggested taking extra precautions in view of the winter season and reports of the pandemic spreading fast in this weather.

The Minister told the officials to focus on the works that are urgently needed at Talakad for the event and concentrate on the permanent development works after the event gets over.

G.T. Deve Gowda and L. Nagendra, MLAs; Deputy Commissioner Rohini Sindhuri;, and SP C.B. Rhyshanth attended the meeting.

The last Panchalinga Darshana mahotsava was held in 2013.

The meeting resolved to constitute a five-member expert committee consisting of the Deputy Commissioner, the Superintendent of Police and three others. This committee will visit Talakad and submit a status report to the government. Based on its report, a decision will be taken on how to conduct the event and number of persons to be permitted to participate. During Dasara, restrictions had been imposed on the participation of the public and only 200 and 300 persons were allowed to the inauguration and the Jamboo Savari respectively.

Mr. Somashekar told the district administration to prepare an estimate on the funds necessary for the celebrations. This would include road repairs, illumination, and drainage system.

The Deputy Commissioner also suggested virtual Panchalinga Darshana like Dasara, providing the convenience of watching the proceedings live on TV and other platforms. “Let us make arrangements taking the experts’ opinions,” she added.

Panchalinga Darshana entails a visit to the five major Shiva temples located in and around Talakadu on a single day. The deities worshipped are Vaidyeshwara, Maruleshwara, Pathaleshwara, Araeshwara and Mallikarjuneshwara. The pilgrims visit the Vaidyeshwara temple and subsequently the other temples. including the temples located on the outskirts of temple town. These temples are visited regularly by the devotees but the number goes up substantially on the special occasion.

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