Puri Jagannath temple reopens for devotees

Puri Jagannath temple reopens for devotees
(photo:Twitter). Source; IANS

Bhubaneswar, Aug 23 (IANS) After a gap of four months, Shree Jagannath Temple in Odisha's Puri has been reopened for devotees on Monday, officials said.

"Devotees can have darshan from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, from Monday to Friday. The temple will remain closed for public darshan on all Saturdays & Sundays," said chief administrator of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Krishan Kumar.

Around 50,000 devotees of the Puri municipality area have visited the temple during the past week. Now, devotees from any place can enter the shrine, he said.

"I hope all devotees will follow the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued in view of Covid-19," Kumar added.

Three layer security arrangements have been made to facilitate devotees for smooth darshan of Lords, said Puri SP, Kanwar Vishal Singh.

The police have set up a special centre to take feedback from the devotees, Singh said. Devotees can submit their feedback on police service at the temple either through the manual by submitting a form or through an online QR code scanning system.

"I am very happy to have darshan of Lord Jagannath after a long time. Thanks to the officials for making all necessary arrangements," said Rabi Narayan Rath, a devotee from the Ganjam district of Odisha.

"Very nice system has been put in place. No devotee will face any problem while visiting the temple and no threat of Covid-19 infection also," said a devotee from West Bengal.

The temple has been closed on April 24, 2021, for the entry of the general public, following resurge in the Covid-19 cases. After allowing servitor families and Puri citizens, the temple reopened for all devotees on Monday.

Apart from Saturdays and Sundays, the shrine will also remain closed on major festive occasions in order to avoid any spike in transmission of Covid-19 on account of huge gatherings that are expected on such festive occasions.

A queue system has been put in place for the devotees, who will make entry through the barricades opposite to the shoe stand, situated on the northeast side of the temple complex.

As per the SOP, 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.

All devotees will be required to bring their photo ID card, namely, Aadhaar/Voter ID, etc and enter through Singhadwar. After the darshan, the exit will be through Uttaradwar.

It is mandatory for all devotees to wear masks all the time, inside & outside the temple, and they should sanitize their hands before entering the temple.