The Sun Temple at Konark in Odisha’s Puri district, a major tourist attraction, was on Tuesday re-opened for visitors after remaining closed for more than five months, an official said. Though other ASI protected monuments in the state like Raja Rani temple, Udaygiri, Khandagiri, Lalitgiri Buddhist monuments were opened earlier, the Konark temple received visitors only on September 1, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) Superintending Officer Arun Kumar Mallick told PTI.
He said visitors are allowed entry into the monument following all the norms set both by the Centre and the state government. Wearing of masks and social distancing has been made mandatory for the visitors of the heritage site, he said, adding that tourists will also undergo thermal screening before their entry.
Mallick said visitors can buy tickets by scanning QR code installed outside the temple and make payment online. A total of 2,500 visitors will now be allowed entry every day in two phases. While 1,500 visitors will be allowed to visit the site between 6 am and 1 pm, another 1,000 persons can enter the premises in the afternoon hours.
He said though other ASI sites were opened earlier, the Sun Temple at Konark remained closed till August 31 due to restrictions imposed by the Puri district administration. “We have been allowed only to open only non-living temples in the state now,” Mallick said, adding that Shree Jagannath Temple continues to remain closed since March 15 as a precautionary measure to check the spread of the infection.