Puri: Temples across Puri district, like other districts in the state, which remained shut for over 9 months following the Covid-19 induced lockdown and protocols of social distancing, reopened this morning amid cheers and chanting of devotees and servitors.
It was a momentous occasion for the people in the State as the revered shrine of Lord Jagannath in Puri opened its’ doors to servitors, thus setting ground for public Darshan next week.
The other important shrines where Darshan began include the Maa(Goddess) Mangala temple at Kakatpur, Alarnath temple at Brahmagiri, Bali Harachandi at Konark and many others.
The long awaited opening of the Lord Jagannath Temple at Puri brought pearls of joy among servitors (and devotees) as they would now be allowed to get a glimpse of the beloved deities.
Earlier on Wednesday morning servitors and their family members were seen sanitising their hands before proceeding towards the temple. They offered prayers at the ‘Gumuta’ hall at the Singhadwar (Lion Gate) before climbing the fleet of ‘Baisi Pahacha’ (22 stairs) on way to the Garbha Griha (Sanctum Sanctorum).
As per the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) implemented by the Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA), family members of the servitors are being allowed to have Darshan of the sibling deities in the first phase. The residents of Puri town will have to wait for two more days as the temple authorities have decided to open the gate for them from December 26. As per the earlier decision, the temple will remain closed on New Year and January 2 in anticipation of heavy crowd. Afterwards, devotees from across the country will have access for Darshan of the deities.
However, the administration has restricted the entry of children below the age of 10 years and elderly persons above the age of 65 in view of the pandemic.
Similarly, the famous Alarnath temple at Bramhagiri in the district reopened today after a gap of nine months. The Singhdwar of the temple was opened in the wee hours for conducting daily rituals including Mangala Alati, Tadaplagi, Abakash following which the devotees have been allowed to have Darshan.
The temple precincts witnessed an emotional and spiritual outburst of devotees with loud calls of victory slogans like ‘Jay Alarnath’ and 'Haribol'. Despite the rush and fanfare, the devotees queued up in patience for their turns for entry arrived.
Kakatpur Mangala Temple
Likewise, the famous Maa Mangala temple at Kakatpur in the district witnessed a throng of devotees following the opening of the revered Shakti Peeth.
Barricades have been erected outside the temple for the smooth entry of the devotees into the temple. Safety protocols for Covid-19, from hand sanitisation, use of face mask to social distancing have been put in place by the administration.
The temple authorities have decided to keep only east and north doors of the shrine open for entry and exit of devotees.
The famous shrine of Goddess Baliharachandi on the Puri-Konark Marine Drive also reopened from today for devotees. However, the shrine witnessed a low turnout during the morning hours on account of the prevailing cold conditions.