Shree Jagannath Temple: Srimandir’s doors closed for the faithful till May 15

The SJTA decided to close the Srimandir for public darshan till May 15 in face of a vicious surge of COVID in Odisha.

Published: 25th April 2021 10:06 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th April 2021 10:06 AM   |  A+A-

Shree Jagannath Temple

Shree Jagannath Temple

By Express News Service

PURI: The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) on Saturday decided to close the Srimandir for public darshan till May 15 in face of a vicious surge of Covid in the State.

However, rituals of the deities will be performed as usual in the shrine, said temple’s Chief Administrator Dr Krishan Kumar.

After a meeting of the stakeholders, it was decided to close the temple in the wake of steady rise in Covid-19 cases in the district and the pilgrim town. The closure of the shrine is aimed at protecting the servitors, he said. 

“Servitors perform the daily rituals of the Trinity as per tradition. If they get infected, it would be difficult to continue the rituals. The servitors are in high-risk category as they come in contact with thousands of devotees daily,” Dr Kumar said adding, stakeholders present in the meeting opined that the weekend closure of temples is not enough to stem the spread of the virus and it would be wise to close it till May 15. 

Since rituals related to the upcoming Ratha Yatra will begin from Akshaya Tritiya on May 15, the spread of Covid-19 among sevayat families will prove detrimental to observance of the spate of ensuing festivals.

The month-long Chandan Yatra begins from Akshaya Tritiya day and construction of three chariots starts on this auspicious day. It is important and imperative to ensure good health of the servitors and others who are involved in these rituals and processes, he added.

Dr Kumar said, work on construction of chariots, however, will continue as per tradition. The SJTA will take necessary steps for procurement of masks and sanitiser for use during Chandan Yatra, Snana Yatra and Ratha Yatra. 

Besides, it was also decided to vaccinate all servitors, temple officials and carpenters engaged in construction of the chariots. The SJTA will conduct a mass awareness campaign among the servitor community on the importance of wearing mask, using sanitiser and maintaining social distancing. 

The SJTA chief said, the Covid Care Centre made operational at Niladri Bhakt Niwas will be further strengthened as per requirement and constant review of the same will be taken up.

Temple administrator AK Jena has been designated as the nodal officer to coordinate with Bhubaneswar-based Covid hospitals for hassle free shifting of servitors requiring specialised emergency care. 

Meanwhile, as many as 395 new positive cases were reported from the district in last 24 hours against 306 cases the previous day.

Out of bounds

  • Closure of the shrine is aimed at protecting the servitors

  • Construction of chariots will continue as per tradition 

  • Masks and sanitiser will be procured for use during upcoming festivals 

  • Servitors, temple officials and carpenters will be vaccinated


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