Lucknow: Chaitra Navratri has started today and markets are abuzz with activity. People are making a beeline for the shops which are selling all pooja related material along with the usual edibles that are consumed during the ongoing fasting days. Several temples have been decked up but locals are staying at home and worshipping the residing deity to avoid any COVID crisis at home.
A special Kalash and prayers are to continue throughout the days with the festivities ending with kumari pooja. Crowds in shops have been more than usual as last minute buyers stocked up basic material. Several markets in the city saw record sales. Devotees were seen shopping for Chunari, idols, Sindoor, coconut, fruits etc. Some however created quite a flutter with scant regard for Corona pandemic. The administration has instructed the devotees and temple committees to fully follow the SOP, under which the devotees have been instructed to stay covered.
Prominent temples have allowed the faithful during the Navratris this year in the city only if they follow full COVID protocols.
Preparations are currently on for the festivities at prominent temples like Chowk’s Badi Kali Ji Mandir, the Chandrika Devi temple, Kali Badi temple, and Hanuman Setu to name a few. Some have also made arrangements so that live streaming of puja is made possible through various media.
In some cases only five devotees at a time will be allowed. However in a bid to control crowds, the annual ‘Navratri Mela’ and ‘kanya bhojan’is off.
The old city temples will see Thermal checkups, sanitization machines and COVID help desks.
The revered Hanuman Setu temple shall have sanitized premises with live streaming on facebook.
At Mankameshwar Temple, the faithful can come offer their prayer and leave fast.