A day after the State Government decided to continue its decision of closing down all the places of worship across Odisha till 30 September in wake of the pandemic, the ASI authorities 1 September reopened the Sun Temple at Konark for visitors.
The ASI said it opened the monument as the Sun Temple is not a living temple like Shree Jagannath Temple.
The Black Pagoda was open to tourists after remaining closed for more than five months, an official said.
Though other ASI protected monuments in the state like Raja Rani temple, Udaygiri, Khandagiri, Lalitgiri Buddhist monuments were opened earlier, the Konark temple received visitors only on 1 September.
Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) Superintending Officer Arun Kumar Mallick said the visitors are allowed entry into the monument following all the norms set both by the Centre and the state government.
Wearing of masks and social distancing has been made mandatory for the visitors of the heritage site.
He said the tourists will also undergo thermal screening before their entry.
Mr.Mallick said visitors can buy tickets by scanning QR code installed outside the temple and make payment online. A total of 2,500 visitors will now be allowed entry every day in two phases.
While 1,500 visitors will be allowed to visit the site between 6 AM and 1 PM, another 1,000 persons can enter the premises in the afternoon hours.
He said though other ASI sites were opened earlier, the Sun Temple at Konark remained closed till August 31 due to restrictions imposed by the Puri District Administration.