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Dilip Kumar

Gajapati: The famous Tibetan Buddhist monastery named Padmasambhava Mahavihara Monastery at Jirang near Chandragiri in the district will remain closed despite a go-ahead from district administration. The temple management committee has decided to shut the shrine till New Year in view of the safety of visitors as well as monarchs amid the spread of corona virus pandemic.

The famous temple witnesses heavy inflow of tourists especially during winter season from across the country.

The district administration had permitted the monastery authorities to open the shrine which had been closed for public for the last eight months since a nationwide lockdown was imposed due to the spread of corona virus.

“The district administration had written to us on October 5 for reopening of the monastery for the tourists. We apprehended risks due to the outbreak of pandemic as thousands of pilgrims visit the place. They move around, make merry and take photographs with us and our children, which we feel a risk for our family,” a monarch said.

“The Collector had also assured us to find out a solution in this regard. He suggested us to reopen the temple with strict adherence to Covid-19 guidelines like social distancing, proper sanitisation, use of face mask etc, but these steps didn't satisfy us. So, we requested him to extend the closure for some more time,” he added.

Now, the decision to keep the temple closed will remain in force till the end of December.

The monastery at Jirang known as the Little Tibet of Odisha is famous for it’s scenic beauty which attracts thousands of tourists from across the country and outside through out the year.

Notably, the Odisha government has not yet taken any decision on reopening of Hindu temples across the State despite a state wide protest by the servitors.

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