Despite govt’s warning, Amritsar’s Mata Bhadrakali temple opens its gate to devotees


Amritsar: Despite the government disallowing the opening of religious places to devotees during the fourth phase of lockdown, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the authorities at Mata Bhadrakali temple in Amritsar permitted people to enter the premises on Monday.

According to Mahant Govind Sharma, the temple”>temple authorities were forced to open the gates as the devotees refused to budge without getting a chance for ‘darshan’ of the deity. He also added that today marks the beginning of a fair, which has been organised since ages in the temple.

“This fair started taking place hundreds of years back. The Maa Bhadrakali temple”>temple and the rituals surrounding it have also been ongoing since generations. This time we wanted to celebrate it privately due to the COVID-19 pandemic and had urged the people to stay at their homes,” Sharma said.

“However, long queues of people started forming outside of the temple gates since yesterday. The devotees lined up due to their faith in the Goddess, therefore, we are allowing two devotees at a time inside the temple, while ensuring they maintain social distancing and their faces are covered at all times,” he added.

Devotees, who are at the temple, said that the temple administration was ensuring that social distancing guidelines were followed and regular spraying of disinfectants was being carried out in the premises.

“We are very happy to have had the darshan of the Goddess. The temple administration is conducting regular spraying and social distancing measures are being followed here, along with devotees being asked to cover their faces, at all times. We want this pandemic to end so that the situation goes back to normal soon,” Geeta, a devotee, said.

Earlier Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had said the lockdown would continue till May 31, but the curfew restrictions would go. He indicated that limited public transport would resume and curbs would be eased further in the non-containment zones from May 18. (ANI)