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Devbrat Patnaik

Puri: Tears of joy will flood Puri Badadanda on Sunday as the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) is set to welcome all devotees for darshan of Mahaprabhu Jagannath and His siblings from January 3 (tomorrow).

SJTA Chief Administrator Krishan Kumar informed that necessary arrangements have been put in place for smooth and hassle-free darshan as the 12th-century shrine will open for all from tomorrow onwards.

From January 3, 2021, the SJTA is hopeful it can ably handle a congregation of at least 15,000 devotees every day but the administration has asked devotees visiting the shrine to come with a Covid negative report.

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SJTA chief administrator said, "The experience during the initial days of temple unlock has been quite good. The Srimandir administration has made arrangements to facilitate darshan for 15,000 to 17,000 devotees every day from January 3, and we are confident we would be able to handle the said number of visitors. I hope no problems will arise during darshan."

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"I would request the devotees to abide by the protocols in place. All devotees will be required to bring COVID-19 negative certificate (RT-PCR/Antigen) of testing done within 96 hours prior to their visit to the temple," Krishan Kumar said.

We are, however, planning to relax restrictions on darshan from February, the SJTA chief added.

Last month, Chattisa Nijog meeting chaired by Krishan Kumar had decided to recommend reopening of the temple for darshan by devotees from 23rd December in a gradual and phased manner. Family members of the Sevaks were allowed darshan of the Holy Trinity from December 23-25, 2020. Next in line were the residents of Puri Municipality area who were allowed entry for darshan from December 26-31, 2020.

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