Ujjain: Due to the Covid-19 induced restrictions, after about 18 months, the common man would be allowed to participate in bhasmaarti in the Mahakaleshwar Temple beginning Saturday. A total of 1,000 people would be allowed to avail darshan of bhasmaarti every day. Of these, 150 seats will be allotted on first-come-first-served. The remaining 850 seats will be booked online against a fee of Rs 200 per head.
Till now only the priests of the temple were present in the bhasmaarti. The desire for bhasmaarti darshan in the common man can be gauged from the fact that all slots were booked as soon as the online booking opened. No slots are available till September 30. Although 2,000 people can participate in bhasmaarti darshan, but in view of the Covid-19 outbreak, only 50 % people are being given entry.
Hindu organisations and the Congress have vehemently opposed the imposition of the fee for online bhasmaarti and protest are being held daily.
Ahead of the opening of the bhasmaarti darshan for people, arrangements for online registration, offline general bhasmaarti counter, protocol bhasmaarti counter and devotees entering the bhasmaarti for easy and accessible darshan were inspected by officials on Friday. Collector-cum-chairman of Mahakaleshwar Temple Management Committee Asheesh Singh, SP Satyendra Kumar Shukla, Smart City CEO Jitendra Singh Chauhan, ASP Amarendra Singh and CEO of Ujjain Development Authority Sojan Singh Rawat were present. For the bhasmaarti to be held on September 11, 150 passes were distributed from the general counter (free of cost) from 10 am till the completion of 150 seats. Permission was granted for bhasmaarti by the on-line booking by the on-duty employee. Similarly, on the website of MTMC www.mahakaleshwar.nic.in pre-bookings were done on 350 seats for Rs 100.
Entrance to Mahakaleshwar temple in the morning for bhasmaarti will be from Gate Number 4. During the bhasmaarti, the entry of devotees in the Nandi Mandap and the sanctum-sanctorum will be prohibited and they would not be allowed even to offer water on the presiding deity.
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