The Kamakhya Temple, closed since March due to the pandemic, reopened on Sunday for devotees amidst strict COVID protocols, temple authorities said.
The ‘garbagriha’ or the sanctum sanctorum of the temple will, however, remain closed for devotees who have been allowed only to go around to perform the ‘parikrama’ or circumambulation, and offer their prayers outside the doors of the main temple, the Doloi of the Temple Management Committee M C Sarma said.
There were few devotees on the first day and they had to undergo the Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) at the foot of the Nilachal Hills, atop which nestles the famed Shakti temple, and also a whole body sanitisation at the sanitization chambers set up to ensure COVID prevention, before entering the temple premises.
Devotees who have done their tests in the last three days can go straight up the hill after showing their reports, he said.
Each devotee has been allowed only 15 minutes to remain inside the temple premises which will remain open from 8 am till sunset but the timings will change during Navaratri and Durga Puja.
Sarma said that these measures have been taken following discussions with the Kamrup Metropolitan district administration to ensure that maximum social distancing is maintained.
The temple has remained closed for devotees since March 20 due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and subsequent lockdown.
The temple authorities had decided to keep it closed even after unlock guidelines was announced due to the rising number of positive cases in Guwahati city which has reported more than 48,000 cases so far.
It remained closed even during the annual Ambubachi Mela.