Dharmath Trust opens Temples, cautions Devotees

JAMMU: Dharmarth Trust today re-opened all Temples in Jammu and Kashmir to the public after having observed shutdown of religious places since 20th of March due to the corona virus pandemic.

However, the Trust also cautioned pilgrims and devotees to strictly adhere to the Safety Measures and Standard Operating Procedures issued by the Government to contain the spread of the pandemic.

The Dharmarth Trust that was founded in 1846 by Maharaja Gulab Singh manages over one hundred Temples and Religious Places across Jammu and Kashmir. Some of these include Raghunath Temple and Ranbireshwar Temple in Jammu city and, Shankaracharya Temple and Mata Kheer Bhawani Temple in Srinagar among several others spread across districts of Jammu & Kashmir.

In a statement issued here today, Vikramaditya Singh, Former MLC and Trustee of J&K Dharmarth Trust said that the Trust welcomes the re-opening of Temples to the devotees and public after a gap of more than four months however, he urged that all visitors to the Temples must follow all precautions and safety measures.

Vikramaditya also said that the Trust has been ensuring regular sanitization of Temple premises and hoped that the visiting devotees will extend full support and cooperation to combat this deadly virus.

The Department of Disaster Management, J&K Government had recently issued orders regarding the instructions for the opening of religious places and places of worship. Mubarak Singh, President of J&K Dharmarth Trust said that the Trust Management and all Temple Priests have been instructed to ensure strict implementation of the Government Instructions and Guidelines regarding safety measures and precaution against the spread of corona virus.

Mubarak Singh added that masks are mandatory to enter Temple premises, social distancing will be strictly implemented and only limited number of people will be allowed entry in the Temple at a time.

He further said that hand washing and sanitization facilities will be provided at the entry while touching of idols will not be allowed and physical offerings such as holy water or prasad will not take place.

Some of the safety measures included in the guidelines are as follows; “Persons above 60 years of age, persons with comorbidities, pregnant women and children below the age of 10 years are advised to stay at home. All visitors are required to maintain distance of 6 feet from each other in these places at all times, even when queuing up for entry. All visitors are to be allowed entry only if they are using face covers/ masks. Only asymptomatic persons would be allowed entry into the premises. People should be made to wash their hands and feet with soap and water before entering the premises. Necessary facilities shall be provided for this purpose by the organizations managing the premises.”