Two major temples in Mathura ban entry of devotees amid COVID-19 surge

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Mathura (UP), Apr 24 (PTI) Two major temples of the 'Sapta Devalaya' (cluster of seven temples) in Vrindavan on Saturday banned the entry of devotees in view of the rising COVID-19 cases.

'Since even priests have been infected in some temples, it has been decided to close the ancient Gokulananda Temple indefinitely for devotees to ensure uninterrupted 'seva-puja' at the shrine,' temple mahant Srivatsa Goshwami said.

The Radha Raman temple, he said, would now open for only an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening for devotees, who have to strictly adhere to COVID-19 norms.

Entry of devotees to Radha Shyam Sundar temple has also been banned till further orders, according to temple mahant Krishna Gopalanand Deo Prabhupaad.

However, in Bankey Bihari temple, the system of online booking for outsiders and entry through Aadhar Card for locals is continuing.

While all temples at Sri Krishna Janmasthan have been closed for devotees till May 9, the closure period of the famous Dwarkadhish temple has been extended till April 30, temple officials said.

However, 'seva-puja' would continue as usual in all the temples, said Rakesh Tewari, media in-charge of Dwarkadheesh temple.

Uttar Pradesh on Saturday recorded the biggest single-day jump of 38,055 COVID-19 cases and 223 fatalities that pushed the state's total tally to 10,51,314 and the death toll to 10,959, according to an official statement. PTI CORR DIV DIV