Ayodhya: The Ayodhya administration has ordered partial closure of temples and barred bathing at the Saryu ghats ahead of the monsoon fair. The borders of the temple town have also been sealed. Evacuation of devotees, who have been thronging the holy city for the ongoing ‘Sawan Jhula Mela’, has also started.Also Read - Uttar Pradesh: 6 of Family Drown in Saryu River in Ayodhya, 3 More Missing

This is being done to enforce Covid protocols and check the possibility of a third wave of the pandemic. District Magistrate Anuj Jha said that only those carrying a negative RT-PCR report issued over a 24-hour span would be allowed entry into the town. Also Read - Ayodhya Will Be World Tourism Hub, Says PM Modi. Mega Plan Here

The administration also advised temple management committees to disallow pilgrims from night stay in shrine premises. Celebrations at Maniparvat temple, which holds the centrestage during ‘sawan mela’ have been scaled down with the administration banning processions, ceremonies or gathering of devotees for puja. Also Read - 'Ram Navmi' Celebrations in Ayodhya Scrapped

Earlier on Wednesday, various idols of deities were placed on a swing to mark ‘sawan jhula’ festival, which continues till ‘Raksha Bandhan’, as per tradition.

The district magistrate said, “Bathing at the ghats has been banned, but the order will not affect the daily routine of local seers, who bathe in the Saryu before performing rituals.”