New Delhi: Amid the nationwide lockdown, Karnataka has announced that it will reopen temples across the state for public from June 1. Notably, temples  and other public places have been shut for more than 2 months now due to the COVID-19 induced lockdown.  The national lockdown enforced by the Centre to stem the spread of Coronavirus since March 25, and in its fourth leg now, is slated till May 31.Also Read - 6 Healthcare Essentials for People With Diabetes During the Omicron Wave

Kota Srinivas Poojary, the minister for Hindu religious institutions and charitable endowments (Muzrai), said that as trains, flights and vehicular movements have started, and hotels likely to resume functioning shortly, several devotees have been demanding opening of temples to offer prayers. His statement comes after a meeting with CM Bs Yediyurappa.  Karnataka has over 34,000 temples that come under the Muzrai department. Also Read - NeoCov: Wuhan Scientists Warn of New Coronavirus Strain With High Death, Infection Rate

“We have had discussions with the Chief Minister (B S Yeddiyurappa) regarding Muzrai department, during which it was decided to open the temples from June 1.  The plan is to allow all ‘sevas’ (rituals) at the temples once they open, but depending on the situation, they may limit it to a few. However, the decision will be subject to Centre’s guidelines on the next course of lockdown”, he stated. Also Read - Chandigarh Schools, Colleges to Reopen from This Date, Vaccination Must | Details Here

He mentioned that temple fairs and events won’t be allowed inside the premises. Speaking to PTI, officials had recently asserted that the department was planning to have a standard operating procedure (SOP) in place, that needs to be followed at temples in a post lockdown scenario, once they are opened for the public.

Poojary further said that sevas in select 52 temples in the state can be booked online from Wednesday, and the chief minister has a given a go ahead for this. He clarified that all rituals at the temples like poojas and aartis will continue as per traditions, but booking for sevas that can be offered by devotees, can be done online from now on.

Karnataka has over 34,000 temples that come under the Muzrai department.