Mumbai: Now, places of worship have closed their portals to devotees. On Monday, authorities of Siddhivinayak temple announced that the shrine will remain shut until further notice. Following suit, Mumbadevi temple and Babulnath have also decided to close their gates.
Situated at Prabhadevi, Siddhivinayak is the first shrine to take such a measure in the wake of the spread of the dreaded corona virus.
The Lord Ganesha temple is one of the popular tourist destinations in the city and records a daily footfall of 50,000 devotees. However, officials of the temple managing committee informed that over the last weekend the number of visitors has plunged by 20 per cent.
“The government has urged people to avoid social gatherings; hence we have decided to shut down the temple as a precautionary measure,” said Aadesh Bandekar, chairman of the temple managing committee.
Earlier, the priests were given face masks to carry out rituals, while the devotees were given hand sanitizers at the entrance.
“The prayer service of the temple has been called off. However, the trust board will continue to provide its charitable service to the people,” added Bandekar.
Soon after, the management of Mumbadevi temple took a cue and announced that the temple will be shut for an indefinite period.
Meanwhile, the Shirdi temple trust has decided to call off the Ram Navami celebrations. The Sai Baba temple in Shirdi is known for its grand religious fair during Ram Navami, which attracts devotees from across the country.
“The footfall in the temple has fallen and we have recorded a 30 per cent drop in donations,’’ said Yogesh Thakur, a member of the trust. However, no decision has been taken yet on whether the prayer service at the temple will be suspended.
Meanwhile, the administrative board of south Mumbai's Haji Ali Dargah said the shrine will remain operational despite the diminishing footfall.
“We have increased the frequency of sanitation drives inside the Dargah. At the entrance, devotees are provided hand sanitizers and the security inside the mosque does not allow people to gather at a single point for a long time,” said Mohd Ahmed Tahir, administrative officer at the Dargah.