PONDA: Navaratri celebrations commenced in the temples across Ponda Taluka on Saturday by following strict standard operating procedure (SOP) and practising social distancing.
The temples have been decorated with lights and flowers and devotees were seen visiting the temples for the darshan of deities.
For Navaratri celebrations, over 300 temples spread across the taluka have announced the timings and SOPs for devotees during the darshans. However, at these temples each night, the aarthi of the deity on swinging makhar will be conducted only in presence of the temple priest, managing committee and sevekaris.
The famous Shantadurga Temple will celebrate the annual Navaratri celebration by observing special SOP due to the prevailing COVID pandemic.
President of Kavlem Shantadurga Temple Committee Triloknath Borkar said, “The celebration, which began on Saturday, will continue till October 25. The devotees are requested to follow SOP and practice social distancing. The temple will be open for devotees and Mahajans from 8 am to 12.30 pm and from 2 pm till 9 pm. Every day the aarthi of the deity on swinging makhar will be strictly conducted only in presence of priest, managing committee and sevekaris of temple.”
He said, “The daily makhar decoration and installation of deity (ustav murthi) will be held around 7 pm and Mahajans and devotees can have darshan of deity in the decorated makhar until 9 pm. Thereafter, the devotees and Mahajans will have to move out of the temple premises.”
“However, on Mahapanchmi day, devotees will be allowed inside the temple till 10 pm followed by makhar celebration. Similarly, daily Sukhasan Palkhi procession will commenced at 9.30 pm except on Mahapanchmi Day the golden palkhi along with Sukhasan procession will begin at 10.30 pm only in presence of priest, managing committee and sevekaris,” Borkar said.
“Similarly Dussehra Palkhi procession will be held in village following SOP and the daily Navaratri celebration and aarthi of the goddess will be telecast on Facebook and YouTube channel,” he added.