Image for representation
Image for representation
File photo

As religious places opened in Maharashtra, after several months of closure amid COVID-19 induced lockdown, devotees thronged temples on Monday.

A large number of people visited Sai Baba Mandir in Shirdi.

Rituals began with a grand "arti" followed by "abhishek" at the temple. The idol of Sai Baba was adorned in a blue shawl and gold ornaments.

Similarly, devotees offered prayers at Mumbai's Siddhivinayak temple.

The "darshan" has been resumed following all COVID-19 health precautions, according to the Siddhivinayak Temple Committee.

"A devotee can generate a QR code for a particular timing from Siddhivinayak Temple App. This QR code can later be scanned at the temple gate for allowing the devotee access to the temple premises. After fulfilling all the coronavirus protocols such as thermal screening, wearing of mask and sanitisation, access will be granted," told Aadesh Bandekar, chairman of Siddhivinayak Temple Committee.

"A separate location has been set up for washing hands and feet and only one person is allowed to enter at a time," he added.

The temple premises was decorated with flowers and diyas.

Most devotees expressed happiness at the resumption of "darshan" at the temples. "It is a happy day for all of us I feel fortunate that I visited the temple in the new year, after Diwali," a devotee at Siddhivinayak temple said.

"I thank our Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray for giving this wonderful Diwali gift," another visitor to the temple said.

Religious places across Maharashtra are reopening for devotees from Monday after several months of closure due to the lockdown imposed in a bid to control the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maharashtra Chief Minister's Office (CMO) had on Saturday informed that all religious places including temples, shrines, churches, dargahs and others in the state will be allowed to reopen for devotees from November 16.

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