The doors of the Dakshineswar Kali temple in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal will be reopened for devotees from June 13, more than two-and-half months after the religious institution was shut due to the COVID-19 outbreak, temple authorities said on Wednesday.
The temple gates will be opened for the devotees from 7 am to 10 am and 3.30 pm to 6.30 pm every day from June 13 with certain restrictions in place, Trustee and Secretary of the temple committee, Kushal Choudhury told reporters.
The devotees will be thermally screened and sanitised before they enter the temple premises but they will not be allowed inside the sanctum sanctorum, he said.
"Devotees will maintain social distancing inside the premises and after offering puja, they will not be allowed to loiter inside the temple compound," Choudhury said.
Only offerings of sweets and fruits will be allowed and those will have to be given to the priest from a distance of six to eight feet. Flowers and vermilion powder offerings will not be permitted, he said.
"We will allow 400 devotees inside the temple compound at a time in small groups to ensure social distancing," Choudhury said.
The famous temple of Goddess Kali, situated on the banks of River Hooghly, was built in 1855 by Rani Rashmoni, who had appointed Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa as the main priest of the temple.
The temple committee had not opened the religious institution on June 1, the day when many other places of worship were opened as per a state government directive.