Bhubaneswar: The Lingaraj temple here will reopen from January 3. However, the temple will reopen for servitors initially from December 27 to December 31.
A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting chaired by Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner Prem Chandra Chaudhary here today.
However, the temple will remain closed on January 1 and 2 in apprehension of influx of devotees for New Year. Devotees can pay obeisance to deities from January 3. On priority basis, people of the capital city can visit the temple from January 3 to January 5.
From January 6 to January 31, devotees from Bhubaneswar and outside can visit the temple.
Speaking to mediapersons, the BMC Commissioner said all servitors will be allowed inside the temple from December 27. They will clean the temple and perform various rituals of the deity. From January 3 to 5, people of BMC area with COVID-19 negative report of last four to five days can visit the temple. Screening will also be held at the main gate of the temple. However, devotees will not be allowed to have darshan of the deity inside Garv Griha (sanctum Sanctorum) for the time being. They will offer prayers to the deity from outer barricades, he said adding that a maximum of 500 people will be allowed inside the shrine at a time.
All other religious institutes in Bhubaneswar will reopen from January 3 with certain conditions. Committees of all religious institutions will be asked to submit an undertaking mentioning their maximum intake capacity of devotees.
Special permission will be given for opening of churches on Christmas (December 25 ).