With Puri Srimandir reopening from Monday (August 16), the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) today issued a standard operating procedure to be followed by the devotees, staff and other officials of the temple.
The Shree Jagannath Temple has been closed since April 24, 2021 and the entry of general public barred in view of threat of the spread of COVID-19.
As per the government order by the office of the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC), SJTA has been authorised to reopen the 12th century shrine for the public in consultation with the concerned stakeholders and in compliance of COVID safety protocols and appropriate restrictions.
“A meeting was held on August 4 with Chhatisa Nijog members and all other stakeholders under the chairmanship of Dr. Krishan Kumar, the Chief Administrator of SJTA to discuss the matter. After detailed discussions and considering all the connected matters, it was decided to open the Temple on August 16, 2021 under strict guidelines,” stated an official notification released by the SJTA on Wednesday.
Schedule for opening of Shree Jagannath Temple for public:
- The Temple will be opened gradually for entry of the general public from August 16, 2021. However, on August 12 and 13, the family members of the Sevaks will be allowed darshan of the Lords.
- The darshan timings will be from 7 am to 7 pm on all days, when temple is open for darshan of the Lords.
- The residents of Puri Municipality area will be allowed entry for darshan of the Lords from August 16 to August 20.
- All devotees will be allowed entry for darshan of the lords from August 23, 2021.
- The Temple will remain closed for public darshan on all weekends i.e. Saturdays & Sundays as a measure to contain the spread of Coronavirus disease and in order to sanitize the Temple premises.
- The Temple will also remain closed on major festive occasions in order to avoid any spike in transmission of COVID-19 on account of huge gathering that are expected on such festive occasions. Accordingly, the Temple will remain closed on August 30 (Janmastami) & September 10 (Ganesh Chaturthi). This matter will be reviewed again for the month of October 2021 or as required.
General guidelines on account of COVID-19 for all devotees:
- It is mandatory for all devotees to wear masks at all times, inside & outside the temple.
- Devotees should sanitize their hands before entering into the temple.
- Devotees should maintain physical distance at all times as per COVID-19 guidelines and follow Covid appropriate behaviour.
- Devotees are requested not to touch Statues or ldols inside the temple.
- It is prohibited to take flowers/ bhoga/ deepa inside the Temple. There will be big containers placed at the entrance, where such items can be dropped, if being carried by the devotees.
- Lighting of Deepas (Earthen lamps) inside the temple by the devotees will not be permitted at all.
- Chewing of Tobacco/ Paan and spitting inside the temple premises is strictly prohibited. A fine of Rs 500 will be levied for each violation.
- There is a complete ban on carrying Polythene Bags inside the Temple. A fine of Rs 100 will be levied for each violation.
- There will be no partaking of Mahaprasad inside Ananda Bazar and temple premises. However, the devotees can carry Mahaprasad & partake it at their place of residence or any other convenient place.
- There will be a separate queue for differently-abled devotees, for darshan of the Lords.
- Parking of the vehicles will be done only at Jagannatha Ballav Math premise or any other designated place.
- Advice to senior citizen/Children/persons having co-morbidities: Persons above 65 years of age, persons with Co-morbidities, pregnant Women & Children below 10 years are advised not to visit the Temple in view of the prevailing cOVID-19 situation.
A. Guidelines for family members of Sevaks are as per following:
- Family members of Sevaks will be allowed darshan from Mangal Alati till Rati Pahuda through any of the gates.
- While entering into the temple, they are required to produce their Health Insurance Card /any other ID card issued by SJTA along with photo ID Card like, Aadhaar, Voter ID Card etc.
- Entry of Non-Sevak devotees accompanying the Sevak family members. If any, will not be allowed.
B. Guidelines for residents of Puri Municipality who will visit the temple from August 16 to August 20 are as per following:
- The residents of Puri Municipality area will be allowed entry for darshan of the Lords 7 am to 7 pm.
- Devotees will make entry through the barricades opposite to the Shoe stand, situated on North-East side of the temple complex.
- Residents are required to produce their Photo ID Card bearing address, such as, Aadhar / Voter ID etc of all the members of the family who are visiting the Temple for Darshan of Lords; to confirm Puri Municipality as the place of residence.
- All devotees will enter through Singhadwar. After the darshan, the exit will be through Uttaradwar.
C. Guidelines for all devotees who will be visiting the Temple from August 23, 2021:
- Queue system will open from 7 am. Devotees will make entry through the barricades opposite to the Shoe stand, situated on Northeast side of the temple complex.
- All devotees visiting the Temple will have to produce the Final Certificate for Covid-19 vaccination (of having taken two Doses) or COVID-19 negative certificate (RTPCR) of testing done within 96 hours prior to their visit to the Temple.
- All devotees will be required to bring their photo ID Card, namely, Aadhaar/Voter ID etc.
- Devotees will leave their belongings at the designated place outside the temple; produce their ID proof for verification and follow the COVID19 guidelines of hand sanitization & thermal scanning before entering the temple.
- All devotees will enter through Singhadwar. After the Darshan, the exit will be through Uttaradwar.
The above guidelines will be reviewed periodically and revised instructions will be issued from time to time to further facilitate darshan by devotees and also for management of COVID-19 pandemic, added the SJTA.