Coronavirus: Entry restrictions in place in MP’s Mahakaleshwar

Entry into the sanctum sanctorum of the renowned Mahakaleshwar Temple in Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain during “Bhasma Aarti” has been banned till further notice due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, a state government official said on Monday.
It is one of the 12 “jyotirlingas” in the country and attracts thousands of devotees every year.
The decision was taken on Monday after the state government issued an advisory on the coronavirus threat, said Temple administrator SS Rawat.
“Entry into the sanctum sanctorum of the temple during Bhasma Aarti has been banned till further orders. The two-hour Bhasma Aarti is performed at 4am when the temple is opened and entry for this is given on pre-booking. Entry into the sanctum sanctorum, which was so far allowed for a brief period in the morning, and during 2 pm to 4pm, has also been banned,” Rawat said.
Only priests would be allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum, he said, adding that devotees would also be given hand sanitisers as a precautionary measure.
Lodging facilities provided to devotees has also been stopped by the temple administration, while the maximum number of people participating in any ritual has been capped at 20, Rawat said.
“The tying of Raksha Sutra and Kalava on the wrists of devotees in the temple premises has been banned till further orders. Foreign tourists will have to fill up a from so that their health conditions could be known,” he said.