Saturday, October 24, 2020

National

Covid casts its shadow on Navratri in Lucknow this year

IANS | October 16, 2020 04:16 PM

LUCKNOW:Devotees above 65 years of age and children below 10 years of age will not be able to visit the famous Chandrika Devi temple, near the city, during 'Navratri' which begins on Saturday.

The annual fair that is held at the temple complex is also being given a miss this year due to the pandemic.

Akhilesh Singh, President, Ma Chandrika Devi Mela Vikas Samiti, said: "No offerings or distribution of sweets and food will be allowed. Devotees will have to maintain a six-feet distance from one another. Heavy security arrangements have been made because we get more than 10, 000 devotees every day during the Navratri period."

The temple officials have decided to telecast rituals like 'mangal aarti' live on YouTube.

'Mundan' (shaving of head), that is held large numbers at the temple complex during Navratri, will not be allowed this year.

The Badi Kali Ji temple, one of the oldest in the state capital, has also fine-tuned its celebrations to suit Covid norms.

The temple will not host the annal community feast ('bhandara') which they used to organise on the ninth day (Maha Navmi).

Special security will be deployed to ensure that devotees adhere to all Covid norms.

Riddhi Gaur, President, Shri Shubh Sanskar Navaratri Mela Samiti, said: "Instead we will appeal to devotees to distribute dry ration or any other essential item to the needy in their localities. Since most of them will be observing kanya pujan (a holy ritual carried out on the eighth and ninth day of the nine-day festival), we will request them to distribute food packets and celebrate the festival with a difference."

Only five devotees will be allowed to enter the temple at a given time and devotees will have to take the thermal scan and sanitise their hands. No offerings are being allowed this year.

The Hanuman Setu and Mankameshwar temples have also done away with the annual tableaux and pandals.

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