Puri: After remaining out of bound for over three months for devotees, the Sri Jagannath Temple in Puri is all set to open for the public from August 23.
Considering people’s safety as its top priority amid the pandemic, the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) meanwhile carried out a thorough sanitisation in and around the temple.
In a tweet, the Shree Jagannath Temple Office informed about the steps taken ahead of welcoming devotees.
“In view of the opening of Shreemandira for the public tomorrow & prioritizing safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, as per the protocol, necessary arrangements are made by SJTA, Puri for complete sanitization of Shreemandira,” read the post.
Notably, in view of rising Covid-19 cases during the second wave, the temple was closed from April 24. It reopened August 12.
Like last year, family members of the servitors had the darshan of the deities following Covid-19 guidelines. They visited the temple August 12 and 13 from Mangal Alati till Rati Pahuda.
After the weekend shutdown, Puri town residents visited the temple from August 16 to 20. August 21 and 22, the temple was closed due to weekend shutdown. During these two days, the SJTA carried out necessary steps to sanitise the temple premises.
From August 23 onwards, all devotees will be allowed inside the temple. But they will be allowed into the temple only after they produce a complete vaccination certificate or RT-PCR negative test report obtained within 96 hours prior to the darshan.
Further, the devotees will need to carry a photo ID card such as an Aadhar or PAN card. Devotes will enter the shrine through Lion’s gate and exit through the north gate. The darshan will start from 7am and will continue till 7pm every day excluding the weekend shutdown.
The devotees are asked to follow Covid-19 guidelines mandatorily. They are asked to sanitise hands before entering the shrine, wear masks as long as they are inside and outside it and maintain social distancing.
Similarly, they are requested not to touch statues or idols inside the temple, not come with lamps and flowers. Carrying polythene bags and chewing paan or tobacco and spitting inside the temple have also been prohibited. Fines of Rs 500 and Rs 100 will be collected from those who are caught chewing paan or tobacco or carrying polythene bags respectively.