Final decision to reopen temples to remain with the Temple authorities.
All religious places in Rajasthan were shut down with the imposition of the nationwide lockdown and have remained shut even during the last three phases of Unlock. However, the quadrant segment has green flagged the re-opening of all religious places from Monday after a shut down of 5 months. This relaxation is subjected to the strict following of COVID-19 guidelines and protocols as issued by the state government.
Temple Guidelines and Protocols
As per the Home Department guidelines, there is a complete ban on ringing of temple bells, offerings of flowers and petals, garlands, 'prasad' and any other material of worship at the religious places. Only 50 devotees will be allowed in the temple premises at a given point of time to maintain social distancing. Besides this, there will be only one queue of devotees each, at entry and exit points to the holy premises.
Other guidelines direct the devotees to offer prayers from a distance of 50 feet from the idols of deities/gods and goddesses. Face Masks have been made mandatory to enter the temple while spitting in public places have been banned. Violations of these guidelines will incur punishable penalties for the people.
The state government had permitted reopening of a few religious places with a limited number of devotees in rural areas from July 1 onwards, but large religious places in urban and rural areas remained closed due to the pandemic. Even now, big temples, which attract bigger crowds like the Govind Dev ji and Moti Dungri Ganesh temple in state capital Jaipur will continue to remain closed in view of the coronavirus infections.
The officials said that while the state government has allowed the reopening of the temples, all committees and sanghs that run these temples have been given the final discretion, on the opening of the premises to the devotees, without the interference of the state.
-With Inputs from IANS