After staying shut for nearly nine months, the Jagannath temple in Odisha has finally reopened its doors for devotees. In fact, close to 17,000 people visited the temple on the first day of reopening. By Kumar Shree
The Jagannath temple in Odisha finally reopened for tourists on Sunday, January 03, 2021. Much like all other religious establishments in the country, the Jagannath temple was also closed because of the pandemic scare. Now, the temple is strictly following all safety and precautionary measures to keep COVID-19 transmission in check.
Only devotees with a valid COVID-19 negative test report conducted 96 hours prior to visiting are allowed to enter the temple premises. Even Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal offered his prayers without entering the temple since he did not possess a valid COVID-19 negative report. Even though the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) and Puri District Administration members welcomed him inside the temple, he chose to stay outside, setting an example for others.
View this post on Instagram
As reported by Hindustan Times, the governor while talking to the PTI said, “I came here to pay obeisance to the Lord. We prayed for the wellbeing of all the people of Odisha seeking the almighty’s blessings for 2021.”
The Jagannath temple is a revered 12th-century shrine. After being shut for nearly nine months, the temple started reopening in phases from December 23, 2020, onwards. For the first two days (Dec 23 to Dec 25) of the reopening, only temple servitors and their family members were allowed to enter the premises. The second phase (Dec 26 to Dec 31) allowed Puri residents to visit the temple. The holy shrine is now open to visitors from all over the country.
The SJTA and the Puri District Administration bodies have put all basic safety guidelines in place. Devotees can enter the temple only through a queue system. They will also need to produce their photo ID cards during entry.