Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

In view of the current dip in Covid-19 cases in Odisha, the State government has further relaxed curbs for darshan of the Holy Trinity at Srimandir in Puri. The world famous Jagannath temple will now remain open for public darshan on Saturdays with Covid guidelines strictly in place.

The decision has been taken in a meeting of the Srimandir Temple Administration (STA) which was chaired by Chief Administrator Krishan Kumar over video conferencing on Wednesday.

“Temple entry timings have been extended for two more hours. Devotees can now get darshan of the Holy Trinity from 7 am to 9 pm (from the earlier 7 pm). However, the temple will be closed on Sundays for sanitisation,” said SJTA Development Administrator Ajay Jena.

“As per the earlier announcement, devotees will not be allowed entry into the temple on the occasion of Ganesh Puja (September 10) and Biswakarma Puja (September 17). Similarly, the 12th century shrine will also be closed for three days in October,” said Jena.

It is worth mentioning that the Lord Jagannath Temple reopened on Aug 23, 2021 for all devotees including people from outside Puri after a gap of four months. Public darshan was allowed everyday in the week except on Saturdays and Sundays.

 The darshan of the Holy trinity was barred at the temple since April 24 this year following the outbreak of the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic in the State. The temple was also closed for public during the Ratha Jatra.

However, due to a decline in Covid-19 cases, the temple administration decided to reopen the shrine in a phased manner while adhering to Covid-19 protocols.