Vikash Sharma

Sambalpur: Samaleswari temple, the abode of presiding deity of undivided Sambalpur district Goddess Samaleswari, will reopen for the devotees on January 3, 2021 after remaining out of bounds for several months in the wake of Covid pandemic.

The decision to reopen the 16th century shrine was taken by the district administration on Friday. As per official sources, a detailed Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for strict compliance of the COVID-19 safety protocols will be issued soon for the devotees and the servitors.

It is pertinent to mention here that the 16th century shrine has been closed for devotees since March 23 due to the Covid-19 pandemic situation.

The district administration had earlier decided to keep the temples across the district closed for devotees till January 1 next year.

However, the Samaleswari Temple Trust Board had recently convened the emergency meeting after reopening of Sri Jagannath temple at Puri was planned.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Puri Srimandir will reopen on December 23.

According to sources, the first two days have been reserved for darshan by temple servitors and their family members. This will be followed by the residents of different wards in Puri town in a phased manner and then gradually devotees from outside would be allowed to get a glimpse of Mahaprabhu Jagannath and His siblings after January 3 next year.

Apart from Puri Srimandir, religious institutions across Odisha are set to reopen almost after nine months. The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) today released an SOP for the reopening of Lingaraj temple from December 27.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)