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Jagannath Temple to reopen from August 16 for locals and on August 23 for all

The Jagannath Temple in Puri will open for public from August 16 (Pic: Courtesy wikimedia commons)

There is good news for the devotees of the Puri Jagannath temple, as it is all set to open from August 16 for the public.

Making this important announcement, the administration stated that while the temple will open its doors for the devotees from Puri from August 16, for others it will be allowed from August 23.

The directions for the entry came after a meeting was held involving the officials of Shree Jagannatha Temple Administration, Chhatisa Nijog (the highest decision making body of Jagannath temple) and Krishan Kumar, the Chief Administrator of the temple administration.

Kumar said: “For the first five days from August 16 to August 20, only the residents of Puri town will be allowed to go inside the temple for darshan of the Lords.”

However, it was emphasised that the Covid-19 restrictions will be in place to ensure that the pandemic does not spread and infect the devotees and the general public.

The doors of the temple will remain open for the devotees between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. while the vaccine certificates specifying that the person has taken full vaccination is mandatory. Even those having negative RT-PCR test reports – conducted 96 hours ago — will be allowed entry into the temple.

The weekend shutdown will continue to be there in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Puri during which the temple premises will be sanitised.

The entry of devotees will be barred for two days on August 30 during the Janmashtami festival.

From the month of April restrictions were imposed on the entry of devotees when the second wave of Coronavirus was peaking. The daily rituals in the temple were carried out by the servitors and other temple staff.

Kumar also made an important announcement regarding the Covid testing. He said that servitors, officials and other participants of the Rath Yatra this year will be tested from August 8. Apart from this, a door-to-door campaign will be initiated for the vaccination of sevaks, their families and other officials.

This week the famous Sun Temple was also opened for the public. The temple was open for tourists who had to compulsorily wear masks and undergo thermal screening.

According to news agency, PTI, only 2,000 tourists will be allowed to visit the temple daily and the tourists had to book their ticket online and scan it on their mobile phone at the main entrance. Local guides, photographers and handicraft businessmen have still not been allowed entry.