Berhampur: The Tara Tarini temple in Ganjam district will reopen for public darshan on January 3.
The district administration took the decision at a meeting of the sevayats of the temple with district collector Vijay Amrit Kulange at district headquarters Chatrapur on Tuesday.
According to the standard operating procedure (SOP) issued by the district administration for the temple, wearing of mask, usage of sanitiser and maintaining social distance are compulsory.
The temple will remain opened for darshan from 6.30 am to 12.30 noon and 2 pm to 5 pm. The devotees can have darshan of the Goddess in phases for which barricades would be constructed. The temple was closed for about 9 months.
Identity cards would be issued to all the sevayats and official staff engaged in the ongoing developmental works of the temple. But picnic and cooking on the foothill have not been allowed.
Special buses would transport the devotees to the foothill. No vehicle would be allowed to move to the top of the hills for six months.
However, provisions have been made for parking of the private vehicles on the foothills. All visitors have to go to the temple for darshan of the deities at the top of the hill by climbing 999 steps.
Goddesses Tara and Tarini are worshiped as manifestations of Adi Shakti in the temple which is one of the oldest pilgrimage of Goddess. It is also one of the four major ancient Shakti shrines in India.
According to folklore, when Jagadguru Sankaracharya toured the whole country in 8th century, he discovered this shrine. He came to know that this ancient Shakti centre was under the control of Buddhist tantriks. Then he released the place from the control of the Buddhists and handed it over to the Hindus.