At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is spreading like wildfire, religious sites in the state will open up from Monday. Notably, over 90,000 cases of the deadly virus have been already reported in Rajasthan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. So far over 1,100 people have succumbed to the virus, whereas the religious sites are expecting huge footfalls from Monday.
The state government has issued strict guidelines to organisations operating religious sites. Popular temples like the Pushkar’s Bramha temple, Udaipur’s Eklingji Mandir, Bikaner’s Karni mandir, Sanwalia temple in Chittorgarh, and Govindeoji’s and Ganeshji’s temples in Jaipur are taking precautions before the reopening.
The famous Srinathji’s temple in Nathdwara, however, will not open for another fortnight as renovation work is going on both inside and outside the temple. This temple attracts a large number of devotees from Gujarat and abroad.
The district administrations are working closely with the various temple management committees to ensure that all the safety measures are implemented. The measures include masks and social distancing to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mosques and shrines
All the mosques and churches will also open from tomorrow. The management of the holy shrine Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti’s Dargah at Ajmer has made elaborate arrangements for the reopening of the shrine. This shrine attracts several lakh devotees from several other countries such as Bangladesh and UAE. The shrine management feels that with the trains resuming operations, devotees will now come in large numbers.
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But according to Ameena Pathan, the shrine chief, no flowers or offerings will be allowed inside the shrine. Similarly, at the Pushkar temple, abhishek rituals will not be allowed and only 10 persons will be allowed to enter the temple after sanitisation.
Strict safety norms
The Chittorgarh administration has decided to allow the devotees at the Sanwaliyaji’s temple only through registration. The devotees will be checked before the entry. The police and health department personnel will be pressed into services for this.
All the temple bells will remain covered and no devotees will be able to ring the bell. During the aarti, special care will be taken to ensure social distancing. However, a large number of Jain temples have decided to open their doors only from September 20.
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