Kathmandu: Nepal’s iconic Pashupatinath temple, the 5th-century holy Hindu shrine, opened for devotees on Friday after nearly five months as the number of fresh COVID-19 cases declined in the country.

Pashupatinath Temple is the largest temple complex in Nepal and stretches on both sides of the Bagmati River and sees thousands of worshippers from Nepal and India daily.

It was closed on April 23 due to the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

On the first day, devotees thronged the temple to pay homage since morning, according to the temple’s authorities.

They said that the temple remained open until 1:00 PM as the risk of COVID-19 was not fully over though the number of cases has declined of late.

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Devotees were asked to wear face masks and use hand sanitiser, according to the Pashupati Area Development Trust‘s (PADT) administrative officer Rewati Raman Adhikari.

Only 25 devotees, maintaining physical distance, will be allowed to enter the temple premises at a time, he said.

As the temple remained closed for more than four months, its authorities organised the Chhyama puja (forgiveness worship).

The PADT has made arrangements for devotees to enter the temple through a single door and exit through the next.



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