Ramakanta Biswas

Athagarh: Even as religious places across Odisha remained closed due to Covid-19 pandemic, the servitors of Dhabaleswar temple in Athagarh area of Cuttack district on Friday demanded reopening of the temple in view of the holy Kartik month.

According to sources, special rituals of Lord Dhabaleswar are performed during Kartik month. Gaja Bhoga is also offered to the Lord during the month.

“Osha (fasting) in the month of Kartik is one of the most important traditions. Thousands of devotees usually visit the shrine on the occasion. The government should come up with Covid-19 norms and allow devotees into the temple,” said a servitor.

However, the district administration said the decision regarding reopening of the temple will be taken on the basis of the Covid-19 guidelines which will be issued for the month of November.

“All temples and other places of worship are closed across Odisha to prevent congregation of people in view of Covid-19 pandemic situation. Still, we have continued our discussion with the district collector. As Panchuka falls next month, if government change its guidelines, we can take a call. However, no decision has been taken on reopening of temples as of now,” Athagarh sub-collector and endowment department chief Ajambar Mohanty said.

(Edited By Pradeep Singh)

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