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Dilip Kumar

Bhadrak: After a hiatus of long nine months, the famous Akhandalamani Temple at Aradi in the district will reopen from tomorrow amid strict Covid-19 protocols. The servitors and their family members will get the opportunity to have a glimpse of the Lord in first two days following which the shrine will be thrown open for local residents.

"On December 28 and 29, the temple will remain open for servitors and their family members. Residents of around four panchayats in the vicinity of the Aradi Temple will be allowed darshan on December 30 and 31. Finally, the temple will be thrown open for the public from January 3 after two days of closure on January 1 and 2 in view of the New Year rush," Bhdrak sub-collector Pitambar Samal said.

All devotees will be allowed to have darshan of the Lord from January 3 between 7 am and 5 pm, he added.

The sub-collector has urged the devotees to adhere to the Covid-19 guidelines strictly. Covid protocols like use of face mask, hand sanitising and social distancing have been made mandatory for the devotees before making entry into the shrine.

Similarly, the servitors have been instructed to show their identity card before entering the temple, Samal added.

On the other hand, Goddess Biraja Temple, one of the major 'shakti peeths' in Odisha, is all set to welcome devotees from December 29.  The ancient shrine, which has remained shut since March due to coronavirus pandemic, will reopen following sharp decline in the Covid-19 cases in the district, Jajpur Collector Chakravarti Singh Rathore said.

The 11th century Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneswar was reopened today with strict adherence to the covid-19 guidelines. The precincts of the famous shrine of Lord Shiva had been sanitised by the Fire Services personnel on Saturday.

Similarly, the Sri Jagannath Temple in Puri had already been reopened in a phased manner. In the first phase that started on December 23, only servitors and their family members were allowed entry into the shrine. The residents of Puri town have been allowed darshan in the second phase.

The Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) has decided to shut the temple for two days from January 1 anticipating a large congregation of pilgrims due to New Year. From January 3, the shrine will be thrown open to the public.

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