Maha Shivaratri celebrations at Lingaraj Temple with strict Covid protocols this year
Bhubaneswar: The Jagara Jatra (Maha Shivaratri) celebrations at the famous Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneswar will be held with strict adherence to Covid-19 protocols.
The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Monday held a preparatory meeting with the representatives of the sevayat groups and trust bodies of the 11th century shrine to discuss the festival arrangements in and outside the temple in view of the pandemic restrictions. The meeting was chaired by the BMC Commissioner Prem Chandra Chaudhary.
Elderly people above 60 years and children below 12 years will not be allowed inside Lingaraj Temple during the occasion as they have been categorized under the vulnerable section of the people, informed Chaudhary.
Devotees will not be allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum (Garbha Gruha) of the temple and darshan will be allowed from Ada Katha during the Sahana Mela, added the BMC Commissioner.
Arrangements for sanitation and thermal screening will be made at the entrance. Devotees will be allowed entry from Singhdwara and exit through Dakshinadwara and Uttaradwara of the shrine. Barricades will also be installed inside and outside the temple to ensure social distancing among the people, said.
In case, a devotee is found down with certain symptoms of Covid-19 s/he will be taken for antigen test at the camps installed outside the temple, said Chaudhary.
Drinking water and shades will be made available for the devotees. Lighting of earthen lamps will be allowed inside and outside the temple. However, people will be allowed to sit with diyas inside the shrine keeping in view the availability to space and adherence to Covid-19 protocols.