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Suryakant Jena

Jajpur: The famous shakti shrine of Maa Biraja, a form of Goddess Durga, situated in Jajpur district, will reopen for the first time on December 29, 2020, almost after nine-month-long hiatus due to Covid pandemic.

Collector of Jajpur, Chakrabarti Singh Rathore informed about the decision to reopen the ancient shrine after discussion with all stakeholders on Friday.

"Maa Biraja Temple will be unlocked for devotees from December 29 with strict observance of Covid-19 guidelines. People can have darshan of 'Mahisamardhini', the presiding deity at the ancient shakti peetha from 6 am to 5 pm daily," said Rathore.

As per tradition, the darshan will continue to remain restricted between 1 and 3 pm daily, he said.

Several restrictions have been implemented for devotees during entry into the temple. Use of masks has been made mandatory for people. Similarly, thermal screening system will also be installed in front of Singhadwara, the main gate of the temple to screen people for symptoms of Covid-19, the collector informed reporters during a briefing today.

Jajpur district administration has enforced SOP for entry and darshan for devotees.

However, in order to discourage rush during the new year festivities, the authorities have decided to keep the shrine out of bounds of devotees on January 1, 2 and 3.

Meanwhile, the announcement of the reopening decision for the temple has been welcomed by devotees and servitor community.

Debi Prasad Pani, one of the sevayats of the temple said the reopening of the temple will soothe the painful wait of the devotees from witnessing the Goddess during the last several months.

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