An hour later, that number has doubled.
And many of those present inside the temple and outside are not wearing masks, or some have dropped them on their chins and all of them are packed tight – social distance means nothing here.
Every year, at this time, especially on weekends the stream of devotees increases steeply – families and friends of people who are observing the rituals of a devotee also visit the temple.
But this season, since many pilgrims are avoiding the pilgrimage to Sabarimala, the rush at the MRC Nagar built by the Chettinad family which resides in the same zone has been big.
There is no evidence of people management at the gate or inside the temple campus. The only regulation is at the foot of the steps to the sannithi; some 25 people alone are allowed to climb up one set at a time.
The campus is crowded, bodies rubbing each other in many places. Outside, families serve food to their members and others. The shops are busy.
Spotted here are two police personnel. Traffic jams occur at the roundabout. Vans, bikes and cars are packed on the streetside in the environs.
Religious fervour overtakes the simple regulations people must follow at pandemic time in crowded spaces – such as at this temple site.