GUWAHATI: Barring Kamakhya Devalaya, all other devalayas and temples in Guwahati are set to reopen for devotees from June 8 in sync with the Unlock-I guidelines announced by the government.
According to the guidelines issued by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority, all religious places can reopen from June 8 subject to gathering of maximum 20 people per hour. In case of religious places with smaller available paces, the management committees of such religious institutions can downsize the number of devotees per hour.
The authority of Kamakhya Devalaya said that they would keep the temple door closed till June 30. The Devalaya has already shelved the holding of Ambubachi Mela slated from June 22-26 this year.
Sadou Asom Devalaya Sangha (SADS) secretary-general Kailash Sarma thanked the government for making way for reopening of religious places. "We did make an appeal to the government for such an arrangement earlier. We thank the State administration for taking such a measure. I'm a member Ugratara Temple's Bordeuri-cum-Monitoring Committee. We're set to open Ugratara Temple. We've a few guidelines of our own, besides the ones issued by the government. The government has allowed 20 devotees per hour, but we're going to allow less than 20 devotees per hour.
"There are other changes as well. There will be arrangement for maintaining one metre distance. Now the pujari (priest) won't give flowers to the devotees by hand. He'll only extend the dish containing flowers and the devotees will have to pick flowers themselves. This apart, the priests won't give the tilak (a mark worn by the Hindus of their forehead). He'll have to use a small stick to get the job done. The bhog or anna prasad (offered meal) that was for 200 earlier will now be only for 30 people."
The Doul Govinda Mandir in North Guwahati also has a special arrangement for reopening the temple for devotees. Chief finance secretary of the Doul-Govinda Mandir Parichalana Samiti, Achyut Kumar Das, said, "After registration at the gate thermal scanning of the devotees and sanitizing are a must, as is the wearing of mask. At a time only three devotees will be allowed to enter the temple. There are separate entrance and exit in the temple. We're not going to give flowers, nirmali (flowers offered to God or Goddess), padajal (water used for washing the feet of deities) and tilak to any devotee."
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