Delhi’s Akshardham temple opens today

The Swaminarayan Akshardham temple in the national capital will reopen on Tuesday after a gap of around six-and-a-half months following the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak.

The entry to the temple will be allowed only between 5 pm and 6.30 pm, but the public can stay inside the premises until 9 pm, said a trustee of the shrine.

Though religious places of worship were allowed to reopen in June, the temple authorities had decided to keep it closed for the visitors following a spike in Covid-19 positive cases in Delhi.

The authorities have decided to open only a few spots inside the sprawling complex such as the temple, the park, the musical fountain and the restaurant.

However, the three exhibition halls and the theatre will remain closed. “We are opening a few places inside the temple complex, which has abundant open spaces. The move will ensure adequate social distancing norms for the public. The exhibition halls are closed spaces. But the restaurant is an open space, where the public is allowed to sit outside,” said Janak Dave, director and trustee of the Swaminarayan Akshardham temple.

“The temple will open briefly only in the evening. The exercise is being carried out on an experimental basis and a decision to increase the timing will be taken in due course of time. An extensive sanitisation drive has been conducted before throwing open the temple premises to the public. Though an entry to the temple is allowed until 6:30 pm, the public will be allowed to stay on in the premises until 9 pm,” he said.

The temple authorities have put in place elaborate arrangements to screen the visitors and sanitise their belongings. “We have created multiple booths at the entrances, where the visitors will be screened and their stuff will be sanitised. It is compulsory to wear a mask for the visitors inside the temple premises,” he added.

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