The Biraja Temple, one of the major “shakti peeths” in Odisha, will reopen for devotees from December 29, while the residents of Puri town were allowed inside the Lord Jagannath Temple from Saturday, officials said.
The Biraja Temple will reopen following a decline in the number of fresh COVID-19 cases in Jajpur, District Collector Chakravarti Singh Rathore said.
Mr Rathore said that devotees will be allowed entry to the temple between 6 am and 5 pm every day.
“A standard operating procedure (SOP) for strict compliance of COVID-19 safety protocols will be issued very soon for the visitors as well as the temple servitors,” the collector said.
The 13th-century temple will remain closed from January 1-2 to avoid large congregation of devotees on New Year, he said.
Meanwhile, the district administration of Puri implemented the second phase of entry to the Lord Jagannath Temple from Saturday morning for residents of the pilgrim town in strict compliance to health norms, the officials said.
In the first phase that started on December 23, only servitors and their family members were allowed entry to the shrine.
A total of eight kiosks have been set up to assist devotees and 18 platoons of police personnel deployed to monitor the law and order situation.
The Lord Jagannath Temple will also remain shut for two days from January 1.
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