Bhubaneswar: The Lingaraj temple in Bhubaneswar reopened today after being closed for nine months due to the coronavirus-forced lockdown.
The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) said the decision on reopening the temple was taken keeping in view the religious sentiments of the devotees and COVID-19 protocol will be strictly followed.
Initially, the family members of the servitors have been allowed to have darshan of the deity till December 31, while the devotees will be allowed from January 6, 2021.
While the servitors’ family members will be allowed for darshan in the first phase from December 27 to 31, the devotees will be allowed from January 6, 2021.
However, the shrine will remain closed for devotees on January 1 and 2 in anticipation of mass congregation due to the New Year.
Besides, the BMC has already clarified that the devotees having Covid-19 negative report will only be allowed to enter the temple.
A maximum of 500 devotees will be allowed inside the temple at any given point of time to ensure social distancing and other Covid-19 norms. Apart from the Lingaraj temple, all other temples and religious institutions coming under the BMC will also reopen from January 3.