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Ramakanta Biswas

With the famous Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneswar all set to throw open its gates for devotees from September 1, the temple trust on Friday announced a set of guidelines for the visitors.

The guidelines have been issued by the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) in view of prevailing Covid-19 situation.

“The guidelines issued by the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation in view of Covid-19 have been adopted at a meeting of the temple trust board on August 18 and decision has been taken unanimously to reopen Shree Lingaraj temple for public darshan from September 1,” said a statement issued by the Lingaraj temple office.

Devotees can have darshan of Lord Lingaraj from Ada Katha (wooden wall inside the temple) from September 1 as per the following Covid-19 guidelines issued By BMC:

• It is mandatory for visitors to furnish proof of two doses of vaccination certificates either on paper or mobile phone at the entrance.

• Entering sanctum sanctorum is strictly forbidden for devotees. A maximum number of 100 devotees can go from the Lion’s Gate to Ada Katha to offer prayer to Lord Lingaraj at a time.

• Servitors cannot accept any offerings from the devotees and devotees will be allowed to have darshan only.

Each devotee will have to wear mask and line up in the barricade put up by the BMC to maintain a social distance of 6 feet from each other, which will be monitored by the temple authorities.

• Servitors with RT-PCR negative report along with certificates of double doses of vaccines will be allowed to perform rituals in the temple. In addition, wearing of mark is mandatory for them.

• The temple authorities will arrange for the devotees to wash their hands and sanitize their hands at the entry and exit.

• Spitting pan, tobacco in and outside the temple is prohibited.

• People with symptoms such as SARI or ILI cannot enter the temple. Adults, pregnant women, and children under the age of 18 who have been diagnosed with the deadly disease have also been barred from entering.

• Gathering of more than 25 people will not be allowed in the temple.

• Thermal screening of devotees will be conducted at the Lion’s Gate of the temple.

• The order to reopen the temple will be revoked at any time by the BMC if the guidelines are not followed properly.

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