Puri: The announcement of lockdown by the Odisha government has left the priests of Alarnath temple at Brahmagiri in Puri district in the lurch.
The Alarnath temple and Maa Baliharachandi Pitha are among some of the temples in the district where the priests depend on donations by devotees for their livelihood.
Prior to the lockdown, the district administration had curtailed the entry of devotees to temples across the district till May 15. Only a handful of priests are allowed to perform the nitees.
The priests, who were hopeful about the reopening of temples on May 16 will now have to wait for another four days for the reopening. That too they are unsure if the devotees will be allowed this time.
The servitors of Alarnath Temple, who are worried about their maintenance, said after the imposition of restrictions people stopped visiting the temple and now after the lockdown their sustenance is set to take a big hit.
Senior servitor of the temple Nilamani Suara said the district administration should help the sevayats financially in this difficult situation.
In the first phase of corona, the temples were closed. The district administration did not come to their aid. If the administration does not help them this time too, meeting their daily needs will become for the priests , he added.
Another servitor Purna Chandra Panda said they will perform all the daily rituals in the temple like before. But, the administration should give a thought about their sustenance too, he added.
It may be mentioned here that the Alarnath temple remains open for devotees for 15 days in a year when the Trinity of Jagannath Temple here enter the Anasar Ghara (sick room) prior to the annual Rath Yatra.
Devotees throng the Alarnath temple to have ‘darshan’ of the presiding deity as it is believed that during the Anasar period, Lord Jagannath manifests himself in Lord Alarnath.