The nine-day Navratri celebrations began in temples across Delhi on Thursday with government-mandated COVID-19 protocols in place.
Temple authorities said they have made provisions for proper sanitisation of the premises and to ensure social distancing among visitors.
“Our temple has lakhs of visitors during Navratri, which is why we will be allowing two thousand visitors at a time to ensure proper social distancing. The devotees will be allowed to do darshan’ from outside the main temple area. The exit and entry points have been clearly demarcated and the visitors will be expected to follow the designated route within the temple”, said Surendra Nath, the chief priest of the Kalkaji temple.
The Delhi government last week allowed the reopening of religious places in the city with strict adherence to COVID-19 guidelines and standard operating procedures.
At the Birla Mandir too, celebrations are being held amidst strict COVID-19 protocols.
“We have spoken to the police and all kinds of government-instructed precautions are being followed. Sanitisation facilities will be available at the gate, and no devotee will be allowed without a mask. Circles have been made within the premises to ensure that people stand six feet away from each other”, said Ram Gopal Shukla, media-in-charge, Birla Mandir.
Religious places in the national capital were closed for devotees since April 19 under a lockdown imposed due to the severe second wave of coronavirus infections.
Although the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) order allowed entry there, it prohibited large gatherings.
It also directed the district magistrates and deputy commissioners of police to ensure strict compliance with COVID-19-appropriate behaviour in view of the upcoming festivals.
(Cover: Chhatarpur Mandir// Credit – Getty Images)