Lingaraj Temple reopens for devotees after nine months

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Bhubaneswar, Dec 27 (PTI) Shree Lingaraj Temple here reopened for devotees on Sunday after remaining closed for almost nine months due to COVID-19 pandemic, officials said.

Servitors and their family members were allowed entry into the oldest shrine of the state capital on the first day.

They will be allowed to pray inside the temple till December 31, while the general public from outside the state capital will be allowed from January 6.

The residents of Bhubaneswar can have the darshan of the Lord from January 3.

The 11th century Shree Lingaraj temple is a unique place in India where both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu are worshipped together, making it a 'Hari-Har' peeth.

The officials said the temple was sanitised a day before allowing the devotees to offer prayer in the shine. The temple will remain closed for devotees on January 1 and 2 due to possible big congregation due to the New Year.

The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation, which has made arrangement for adherence of the COVID-19 guidelines, has meanwhile, clarified that the devotees having COVID-19 negative report will only be allowed to enter the temple.

The BMC has put up temporary test camps near the temple to enable the devotees to get their COVID-19 tests before getting entry into the shrine.

The authorities have also put up barricades outside the temple to ensure smooth darshan and proper implementation of the COVID-19 norms.

Meanwhile, the Puri district administration announced its decision to allow the people who live in the pilgrim town, to enter Lord Jagannath Temple on December 31.

Puri District Magistrate-cum-Collector Balwant Singh said the special arrangements will be made for the purpose of allowing the local people to enter the 12th century shrine.

Shree Jagannath temple was opened for devotees on December 23. PTI AAM RG RG