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Suryakant Jena

The famous Dhabaleswar Temple in Cuttack has reopened for the public from Friday after staying off the limits for over three months in the wake of the second wave of the Covid pandemic.

The centuries-old shrine located on an island on River Mahanadi was reopened for general darshan after completion of all Mangala Alati and other rituals of Lord Shiva, the presiding deity of the temple today morning.

Even though devotees are allowed entry to the temple, the administration of the shrine has implemented some restrictions also.

  1. The offerings like bhoga from outside will not be allowed into the temple. Similarly, compulsory use of masks has also been strictly enforced in the shrine.
  2. In order to avoid rush of devotees into the shrine due to the ongoing Shravan month, only 50 devotees are allowed entry at a time through the hanging bridge that leads the way to the temple island.
  3. Vulnerable groups of people like the elderly above 65 years of age, children below 10 years of age, and pregnant women have been discouraged from visiting the temple to avoid possible Covid-19 infection.
  4. Devotees can have darshan in the usual manner between 6 am and 8 pm every day.

On the other hand, some other notable religious sites like the Sarala Temple and the shrine of Gorekhanath have also thrown their gates open for devotees from today, informed the district authorities of Jagatsinghpur. Also Puri Srimandir To Reopen For Devotees From August 16.

As per the decision, the temples will be opened every day from 7 am and closed before the evening Alati at 6 pm. The administration has implemented curbs on the access of devotees into the Garbha Gruha (Sanctum Sanctorum) of the temples. Similarly, the offering of bhoga and partaking of Prasad have been banned in the temple premises. Only 15 people are being allowed to enter the temples at a time.

Meanwhile, the district authorities of Khordha on Thursday held a crucial meeting on the reopening of temples, churches, and other places of religious importance. A final decision in this regard is likely to be announced soon, said an official.

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