Bhubaneswar, Aug 12 (IANS) After a gap of more than three months, the Jagannath temple in Puri of Odisha reopened for family members of the servitors on Thursday. For the general public, the temple will reopen from August 23, officials said.
"The Jagannath temple has been reopened today. I request all devotees to strictly follow the restrictions imposed in view of Covid-19 while having darshan at the temple," Odisha DGP Abhay said.
Required security arrangements have been put in place at the temple so that the devotees can have hassle free darshan, he said.
The family members of Sevayats are allowed for darshan from Mangal Alati till Rati Pahuda through any of the gates. While entering into the temple, they are producing their health insurance card/any other ID card issued by SJTA along with a photo ID card.
It is mandatory for all devotees to wear masks all the time, inside & outside the temple premises and they should sanitize their hands before entering into the temple.
The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) has issued a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the reopening of the temple in Puri.
As per the SOP, the residents of Puri municipality area will be allowed entry for darshan of the Lords from August 16 to 20. All devotees will be allowed entry for darshan of the lords from August 23. The darshan timings will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on all days.
The temple will remain closed for public darshan on all Saturdays & Sundays as a measure to contain the spread of coronavirus disease and to sanitize the temple premises. The temple will also remain closed on major festive occasions in order to avoid any spike in transmission of Covid-19.
All devotees visiting the temple will have to produce the final certificate for Covid-19 vaccination (of having taken two doses) or Covid-19 negative certificate (RT-PCR) of testing done within 96 hours prior to their visit to the temple.
The temple administration has banned carrying polythene bags inside the temple. A fine of Rs 100 will be levied for each violation.
Similarly, there will be no partaking of Mahaprasad inside Ananda Bazar & temple premises. However, the devotees can carry Mahaprasad & partake it at their place of residence or any other convenient place, the SJTA said.
The temple has been closed since April 24, 2021 for the entry of the general public, in view of threat of spread of Covid-19.