PURI: The Sri Jagannath temple will open its doors for devotees on Wednesday after an interregnum of nine months’ closure owing to covid19 restrictions. The district administration has put in place elaborate arrangements for the reopening. Only residents of Puri including the families of servitors will be allowed darshan of the Trinity from December 23 to 31 considering their active cooperation with the administration during the lockdown and Rath Yatra.
On the first three days, families of servitors would enter the temple for darshan in strict adherence to covid-19 norms. They would have to wear face masks, sanitise hands at the temple gate and maintain social distance. The temple security personnel would be in charge of their identification and they need not produce covid negative certificates. For residents of Puri municipality, Swachh Sathis would go to the doorsteps of every household in all 32 Wards. after enumeration of devotees seeking darshan of the deities in each ward, tokens marking the date and time of their entry would be issued.
On each day, devotees of five wards would be issued token for darshan which would be arranged in three phases. Darshan will be allowed from 7.30 am to 12 pm, 12.30 pm to 4 pm and 4.30pm till closing of the temple doors for the night. The time schedule of darshan would be arranged every day in consultation with the temple priests, said Puri collector Balwant Singh. addressing mediapersons, Singh said the temple would remain closed for devotees from December 31 night.
Devotees from outside Puri would be allowed entry from January 3. However, they have to produce covid negative certificates obtained within 48 hours prior to their visit. Five thousand devotees would be allowed to have darshan on each day. Meanwhile, as part of preparations for the temple reopening, barricades were raised along the Badadanda from Municipal Market chowk towards the main gate of the Srimandir. nine rows have been created within the barricades to ensure that devotees enter the temple in a queue system by maintaining social distance.
Devotees will not be allowed to carry offerings like Tulsi, flowers and other such items. apart from the temple security, regular police personnel would be deployed in and around the temple. Fifteen Pratihari servitors (traditional temple security) would volunteer for managing the devotees in every phase of darshan. Shoe stands, drinking water facility and sun sheds are also being raised for the comfort of visiting devotees, the collector added.
Sarala temple to reopen on Jan 3
Jagatsinghpur: The district administration has decided to reopen the famous Sarala and Gorakhnath temples from January 3 by following all the COVID- 19 protocols. A maximum of 500 devotees will be allowed to have darshan at the two shrines between 8 am to 12 noon. Devotees aged above 65 years and below 10 years will not be allowed entry into the temples. Devotees coming from outside the district will have to show Covid negative certificate before entry into the temple. Wearing of masks, and proper sanitisation of hands will be mandatory for all devotees. However, the temples will remain closed for devotees on January 14 on the occasion of Makar Sankranti anticipating huge crowd of people.