The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Friday granted permission to the Lingaraj Temple Trust to conduct Shital Sasthi festival of Lord Lingaraj with limited number of servitors.
The annual Shital Sasthi festival, the sacred marriage of Lord Lingaraj and Devi Parvati, will be held from June 15 to 16 this year inside Kedargauri temple in compliance with Covid-19 protocols.
The civic body said ‘this is a Special case and permission is hereby accorded on compensatory ground.’ Only seven servitors will be allowed to perform the marriage rituals. The Executive Officer of Lingaraj Temple Trust has been asked to submit the list of seven servitors to BMC Commissioner.
“During the sacred marriage celebration devotees/localities are not allowed to the temple for worship/any other purpose whatsoever and all temple gates to remain closed to avoid gatherings of any kind,” the BMC said.
Tent decoration, offering of milk, sound system, fireworks and feast are not allowed during the festival.
On June 15, the movement of deity will start from Lingaraj Temple to Kedargaud Temple by palanquin at 11 PM and reach by 11.45 PM. On June 16, the deity will return at 10.30 PM and reach Lingaraj Temple by 11.45 PM.
Here are other stipulations laid down by the BMC
- Throughout the sacred marriage celebration strict personal hygiene and social distancing at all times to be maintained as per Government guidelines.
- Further, adequate social distancing of a minimum of six feet should be maintained.
- The location of the sacred marriage celebration should be sanitized after completion of the celebration.
- If any SARI / ILI symptoms developed in any of the SEBAYATS, they will not be allowed to participate, & the members to immediately inform Executive Officer, Lingaraj Temple Trust / ZDC / Ward Officer for immediate & necessary action.
- No decoration of any kind is allowed in both the temples-Lingaraj Mahaprabhu and Kedar Gaud Temple.
- This permission letter to be produced before the enforcement authorities / Police authorities' throughout the celebration.
- Any deviation to the Social Distancing / Sanitization / Orders issued by Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) / H&FW department of Govt. of Odisha/ Special Relief Commissioner Govt. of Odisha will attract revocation of the permission.
- The entire celebration of Lord Lingaraj Mahaprabhu and Devi Parvati will be conducted in police security and DCP, Bhubaneswar to ensure no public is allowed to enter in to the temple premises and there shall not be any congregation en route.