After remaining out of bounds for visitors over three months, the world famous Sun Temple at Konark in Puri district reopened on Monday for visitors.
The 13th century shrine had remained closed for public in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic.
The monument has been thrown open for public as per the Unlock guidelines of August laid down by the State government. However, it will remain shut on every weekend due to the shutdown restrictions in Puri district.
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) which was entrusted with the responsibility of maintaining the shrine has made elaborate arrangements.
The district administration said that guidelines issued by the Odisha government will be followed while allowing the visitors to the site. Thermal screening of visitors will be conducted at the entry point.
The administration has also taken adequate measures to control the crowd. As many as 2000 tourists will be allowed into the temple site per day as per the SoP.
Visitors and local traders are excited over the reopening of the world heritage site.
“We came to know from the internet that the Sun temple is reopening today. But, no crowd is seen on the first day of the opening of the temple,” said Rishika, a tourist from Hyderabad.
Similarly local traders who depend on the tourists to eke out a living are also optimistic of good business in coming days.
“We are happy that the government reopened the tourist site. Our business had come to a halt due to closure of the shrine. We expect good business as tourists started visiting the spot,” a local photographer said.
Manual booking of tickets is not allowed for the visitors to enter the site. Travellers can book ticket online by scanning a QR code installed outside the temple.
The historic temple which has been included in UNESCO’s World Heritage Site, provides an exceptional look at India's religious heritage. The temple was built as a mark of respect to Sun God or Arka.