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Vikash Sharma

Puri: The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) on Sunday relaxed restrictions which were earlier imposed on the darshan of the Holy Trinity by general public.

After a high-level meeting held on Sunday, SJTA chief administrator Krishan Kumar said, “Devotees will no longer have to submit COVID-19 negative report while coming to Puri Srimandir for darshan of the deities from January 21.”

Kumar said that the decisions to relax the restrictions were taken at the meeting held today to facilitate more devotees to get a Darshan of deities. Though restrictions were imposed for elderly people, it has now been decided to make special arrangements for them with focus on their needs, he need.

"The temple will remain closed once a week (Sundays) to carry out sanitation and disinfection measures. Steps have been taken to make provision of Darshan by nearly 30,000 devotees per day. All the Covid-19 restrictions will continue to remain in force," said Kumar.

The decision has been taken to facilitate devotees from other parts of the State and outside, said Kumar adding that a contingency plan will be made soon to handle if the devotee turnout exceeds 30,000.

Puri Collector Samarth Varma said that special arrangements, queue system will be shortly introduced for elderly/senior citizens coming to Srimandir for darshan of the sibling deities.

It is pertinent to mention here that Puri Jagannath temple had reopened after on December 23, 2020. However, the servitors and their family members were only allowed to have Darshan of the deities.

The temple gates were thrown open for the residents of Puri town between December 26 and 31 last year. Later, Puri temple opened its doors to the public for darshan of Mahaprabhu Jagannath and His siblings from January 3, 2021 after a gap of almost nine months’ due to Covid-19 restrictions.

At present, general public is being allowed after they are being screened at special counters by volunteers for any symptoms. Besides, Covid-19 negative report is also mandatory for devotees coming to the shrine for Darshan of the deities.

District administration officials informed that the general Darshan will begin from 7 am from January 21. The special one-hour Darshan window has been made for the residents of Puri from 6 am.


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