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Devbrat Patnaik

Puri: As Srimandir - the abode of the Mahaprabhu Jagannath - reopens after a nine-month shutdown, the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) in Puri on Wednesday issued the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to be followed by servitors and devotees coming to catch a glimpse of the Supreme Lord and His siblings.

Special arrangements and guidelines are in place for family members of servitors, residents of Puri Municipality, and other devotees who will be visiting the Puri Jagannath temple with effect from January 3, 2021.

In view of the risk posed by the pandemic, it was decided that the 12th-century shrine will be opened gradually for entry of public from December 23. Family members of the Sevaks will be allowed darshan of the Holy Trinity from December 23-25, 2020, then from December 26-31, the residents of Puri Municipality area will be allowed entry for darshan.

The temple would remain closed for public darshan on January 1-2, 2021, to avoid any spike in the transmission of COVID-19 as huge gathering is expected on New Year Day, and after that, from the 3rd January, all devotees would be allowed entry for darshan of the Lords.

General Guidelines For All Devotees:

  • It is mandatory for all pilgrims to wear masks at all times, inside and outside the Temple.
  • Devotees should sanitize their hands before entering the temple.
  • Devotees should maintain physical distance at all times as per CoVID guidelines.
  • Devotees are requested not to touch statues or idols inside the temple.
  • It is prohibited to take flowers, Bhoga, Deepa inside the Temple.
  • There will be big containers placed at the entrance, where such items can be dropped if being carried by the devotees.
  • There will be no lighting of 'Deepa' (diya) inside the temple by the devotees.
  • There will be no marketing of Mahaprasad inside Ananda Bazar and Temple premises.
  • Chewing of Tobacco/ Paan and spitting inside temple premises is strictly prohibited.
  • Parking of vehicles will be done only at Jagannatha Ballav Math premises and other designated places.
  • Persons above 65years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women and children below 10 years are advised not to visit the temple in view of the prevailing COVID-19 situation.

Guidelines For Family Members Of Sevaks:

  • Family members of Sevaks will be allowed darshan from Mangal Alati till Rati Pahuda through any of the gates.
  • While entering into the temple, they are required to produce their Health Insurance Card/any other card issued by SJTA along with photo ID Card like, Aadhaar, Voter ID Card etc.
  • Entry of Non-Sevak devotees accompanying the Sevayat family members, if any, will not be allowed.

Guidelines For Residents Of Puri Municipality:

  • Queue system will open from 7 AM at Market Chhak.
  • Residents are required to bring with them the token provided, along with the Aadhaar Card/ Voter ID Card of all the members of the family visiting the Jagannath temple.
  • Residents will make entry through the barricade from Market Chhak till Jagannath Temple office; leave their belongings at the designated place outside the Temple; produce their ID proof for verification and follow the COVID19 guidelines of hand sanitization & thermal scanning before entering into the Temple.
  • All devotees will enter through Singhadwar. After the darshan, the exit will be through Uttaradwar.

Guidelines For All Devotees Who Will Be Visiting Puri Jagannath Temple From Jan 3:

  • Queue system will open from 8 AM at Market Chhak.
  • All devotees will be required to bring COVID-19 negative certificate (RTPCR/Antigen) of testing done within 96 hours prior to their visit to the temple.
  • All devotees will be required to bring their photo ID Card - Aadhaar/Voter ID etc.
  • Devotees will make entry through the barricade from Market Chhak till Jagannath Temple office; leave their belongings at the designated place outside the Temple; produce their ID proof for verification and follow the COvID19 guidelines of hand sanitization & thermal scanning before entering the Temple.
  • All devotees will enter through Singhadwar. After the Darshan, the exit will be through Uttaradwar.

SJTA chief administrator Krishan Kumar has said that these guidelines will be reviewed periodically and revised instructions would be issued from time to time to further facilitate darshan by devotees and also managing the pandemic situation.

ALSO READ | Puri Jagannath Temple Reopening: Here Is The Timing And Schedule For Darshan

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