Puri: Chief Administrator of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Dr Krishan Kumar on Wednesday issued a detailed Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the reopening of the Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri.
The Temple has been closed since 24 April, 2021 for the entry of the general public, in view of threat of spread of Covid-19. After a detailed discussion with Chhatisa Nijog members following the State Government’s order, the Temple will reopen for devotees from 16 August under strict guidelines.
As per the SOP, the Temple will be opened gradually for entry of the general public from 16 August. However, family members of the Sevaks will be allowed darshan of the Lords on 12-13 August.
The residents of Puri Municipality area will be allowed entry for darshan of the Lords from 16-20 August. All devotees will be allowed entry for darshan of the lords from 23 August . The darshan timings will be from 7 AM to 07 PM on all days, when the temple is open for darshan of the Lords, Dr Kumar said.
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 on account of huge gatherings that are expected on such festive occasions.
Accordingly, the temple will also remain closed on 30 August (Janmastami) & 10 September (Shree Ganesh Chaturthi). This matter will be reviewed again for the month of October 2021 or as required, he said.
Family members of Sevaks will be allowed darshan from Mangal Alati till Rati Pahuda through any of the gates. While entering into the temple, they are required to produce their Health Insurance Card /any other ID card issued by SJTA along with photo ID card like.
Devotees will make entry through the barricades opposite to the shoe stand, situated on the North-East side of the temple complex.
The Puri residents are required to produce their Photo ID card of all the members of the family who are visiting the temple for darshan of Lords.
Queue system will open from 7 AM for the devotees, who will make entry through the barricades opposite to the Shoe stand, situated on the North-East side of the temple complex.
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 be required to bring their photo ID card, namely, Aadhaar/Voter ID etc. All devotees will enter through Singhadwar. After the darshan, the exit will be through Uttaradwar.
It is mandatory for all devotees to wear masks at all times, inside & outside the temple and they should sanitize their hands before entering into 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 Chief said.
Lighting of the Deepas inside the temple by the devotees will not be permitted at all. A fine of Rs 500 will be levied for chewing of tobacco / Paan and spitting inside the temple premises, he warned.
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.
There will be a separate queue for differently-abled devotees, for darshan of the Lords. Parking of the vehicles will be done only at Jagannatha Bailey Math premise or any other designated place.
The SJTA advised senior citizen, children, persons having co-morbidities, pregnant women not to visit the temple in view of the prevailing Covid situation