Good news arrives for all Sai Baba devotees in Vizag as it has been decided to reopen Shirdi Sai Baba Temple. This decision has been taken keeping in mind the subsiding Covid-19 situation in Maharashtra. The date of 7 October 2021, which also marks the beginning of the Hindu festival Navratri, is when Shirdi Sai Baba Temple will reopen for devotees.
Temple open but with certain restrictions
Planning for the reopening of the temple, the Shirdi Saibaba Sansthan Trust has chosen to allow only 15,000 devotees into the temple daily for the time being. 5,000 of these will be paid temple passes, another 5,000 will be online passes while the remaining will be for the devotees with offline passes. And for every Aarti at the temple, only 90 devotees will be allowed. Wearing masks and maintaining physical distancing in the temple premises will be mandatory. Separate entry and exit pathways have been kept for the devotees. The Dhyan Mandir and the Parayan Kaksh will remain closed for now. For the sake of their own safety, pregnant women, children below the age of 10 years and people above the age of 65 years won’t be allowed in the temple.
With Maharashtra being one of the worst-hit states during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the temple had to be closed in April earlier this year. But with Shirdi Sai Baba Temple now set to reopen on the date of 7 October, devotees in Vizag can plan their pilgrimages to Shirdi and take darshan at the temple.
Recently, the Sri Venkateswara Swamy Vaari Temple in Tirupati was also opened for devotees by the temple trust, after taking stock of the Covid-19 situation. But over there, it is mandatory for people to present a negative Covid-19 test result or proof of double vaccination in order to enter the temple.