Konark Sun temple (Photo | EPS)
Konark Sun temple (Photo | EPS)

Unlock 4.0: Konark temple in Odisha opens but with a 2,500 visitor cap

According to Superintending Archaeologist of Bhubaneswar Circle Arun Malik, only 2,500 tourists would be allowed to enter the in a day to maintain safe distance between people.

BHUBANESWAR: The Sun Temple at Konark reopened on Tuesday - strictly under Unlock 4 guidelines of the Centre - after remaining closed since March 15 to prevent entry of people in wake of the coronavirus pandemic .

As per the standard operating procedure of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), only 2,500 tourists would be allowed to enter the World heritage Site in two slots every day. They would get a window and handed out e-tickets only.

According to Superintending Archaeologist of Bhubaneswar Circle Arun Malik, only 2,500 tourists would be allowed to enter the in a day to maintain safe distance between people. In the morning slot, 1,200 people would be allowed in, while 1,300 tourists can enter in the afternoon slot. Before the lockdown in March, an average of 5,000 tourists visited the monument on a daily basis.

"Visitors will be given a time window for moving round the monument and only e-tickets would be provided through digital payment for entry into the monument. They will also have to make e-payments for parking," Malik said.

Tourists will have to undergo thermal screening before entering the premises and wearing masks and maintaining safe distance are mandatory. Only those with symptoms will be allowed in.
While no public gathering and group photography will be allowed at the monument, it will have a designated single-line entry and exit points and routes for movement within the premises. The entire temple will be sanitised at regular intervals in a day to maintain hygiene.

All non-Living monuments, archaeological sites and museums under protection of ASI in Odisha opened from July 6 amid Covid safety precautions. However, the Sun Temple remained closed till August 31 due to Covid restrictions imposed by the Puri administration. Living monuments like Shri Jagannath temple at Puri, Lingaraj temple at Bhubaneswar continue to remain closed as per the Odisha Government guidelines.

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The New Indian Express
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