Puri: After a long gap of over three months, the citizens of Puri municipality area have been allowed for dharshan of Lords in the world-famous Shree Jagannath temple in Puri with strict adherence to Covid-19 protocols.
The temple has been closed to devotees since April 24 in view of Covid-19 second wave. As per the SoP issued by Chief Administrator of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Dr Krishan Kumar, the devotees of only Puri town are having darshan of the Holy Deities in the Shreemandir.
The devotees are allowed entry into the temple after proper checking of identity proof, hand sanitization and mandatory wearing of face masks from 7 AM.
“We have issued tokens to the citizens. As per their schedule, they can have darshans. All devotees can have darshan in phase wise. It is mandatory for all to follow Covid-19 guidelines like wearing and maintain social distance,” said Puri Collector Samarth Verma.
“I am very happy to have darshan of Lord Jagannath after a long time. Thanks to the SJTA for making all arrangements. I also thank the Police officials, who helped my kids to have darshan of the Lords,” said a woman devotee.
Sharing her emotion, an aged woman said, “I have not thought that I could able to see my Lords because I am suffering from diseases and unable to walk properly. But, I got the chance to have a very beautiful and satisfied darshan of the Lords. Thanks to all.”
The devotees from other places will be allowed entry for the darshan of the lords from August 23. The darshan timings will be from 7 AM to 07 PM on all days when the temple is open for darshan of the Lords.
However, devotees will not be allowed to have Mahaprasad is in the temple premises now. All other restrictions imposed by the State government are also enforced for the devotees.
The temple will remain closed for public darshan on all Saturdays & Sundays as a measure to contain the spread of Coronavirus disease and sanitize the temple premises.
The Temple will also remain closed on major festive occasions in order to avoid any spike in the transmission of Covid-19 on account of huge gatherings that are expected on such festive occasions.
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 (RTPCR) of testing done within 96 hours prior to their visit to the temple.
All devotees will have to maintain physical distance at all times and follow Covid appropriate behavior. They have been requested not to touch statues or Idols inside the temple. It is prohibited to take flowers/ bhoga/ deepa inside the temple.
The SJTA has advised senior citizens, children, persons having co-morbidities, pregnant women not to visit the temple in view of the prevailing Covid situation.
Meanwhile, the Puri Swargadwar also reopened to conduct last rites of the deceased of other districts and States. The citizens can also immerse ashes at Mahodadhi.
The funeral rites of the deceased (non-Covid death) belonging to other districts/States as well as of Puri district are allowed at Swargadwar, Puri with strict adherence to Covid-19 safety protocols, said the Collector.
As per norms, the relatives will have to submit the necessary documents relating to the non-Covid death of the deceased at the reception counter of Swargadwar Seva Samiti. Maximum of 10 persons can accompany the deceased.