17 October 2020, Kathmandu
Temples and shrines will not be opened for devotees during the Bada Dashain festival in the country.
The concerned priests will carry out the necessary nitya pooja and arati but not allow visitors in considering the increasing spread of Coronavirus across the country, including in the capital.
The Pashupatinath temple, Guheswari, Jayabageswari and other temples will remain closed during the festival, the Pashupati Area Development Trust has said. “As the number of infection continues to rise in the valley, the temples will not open for the general public,” said the PADT Executive Director Dr Ghanashyam Khatiwada.
Other shrines like Maitidevi, Kalikasthan, Bhadrakali, Naxal Bhagwati, Shobha Bhagwati, Bijeswari, Ratakali, Swetkali, Dakshinkali, Indrayani, Sundarimai, Bajrayogi in Kathmandu valley are those drawing huge crowd during the Dashain festival.
The temples remain closed since April. Likewise, the Home Ministry has also issued a circular to all the 77 district administration offices to not allow the opening of the temples and shrines for the public.
Meanwhile, the World Hindu Federation has demanded that the temples be opened for the great festival of Bada Dashain by adopting the necessary health protocol and social distancing. As the government has opened other sectors, it should also open the temples which are the center of faith for the Nepalis, the Federation has said in a statement issued on Friday.
“It would be restricting people’s constitutional right to religious freedom to shut down only the temples, when other sectors have been opened”, reads the statement issued by the Federation Chair Ram Chandra Adhikari and General Secretary Ganesh Neupane.
One of the greatest festivals of Nepali Hindus, the Bada Dashain began today with the sowing of seeds for Jamara on the occasion of Ghatasthapana.