As many as 16,000 devotees would be accommodated at Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple during the Tirukkalyanam (celestial wedding) on April 27, said Chairman of Board of Trustees Karumuttu T. Kannan here on Wednesday.

He said that shamianas would be in place to provide shade for devotees and tourists. Security measures had been tightened around the temple, said Joint Commissioner of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments department N. Natarajan.

This year, the temple faces a new restriction. Following the fire at the eastern entrance of the temple on February 2, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court had called for a ban on use of mobile phones inside the premises.

“We have printed a message on the ticket not to bring mobile phone to the temple. It has been posted online too. However, in case a large number of people brought phones, they can approach the footwear stands near the four gopurams (entrances) where there are lockers for phones,” he said.

Currently, each entrance has a total of 100 slots to keep the cellphones inside vaults. They have another mechanism where over 100 phones can be suspended on racks. Those who man the phone collection booth say it took about three to five minutes to fill out a form, get a signature from the deposting party and collect ₹10 for each phone.

The Joint Commissioner said 130 people had been deployed in the footwear and cellphone stands alone to handle the rush on the celestial wedding day.

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