Mandals in Pune give mandaps a miss for Covid-hit Navratri
Residents decide to mark festivities with strict safety norms in place.Updated: Oct 17, 2020, 16:53 IST
The Navratri mandals have taken a conscious decision to not erect pandals of the goddess Laxmi for the nine-day celebration of Navratri in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic this year.
The famous temples in the city that attract a large crowd during the nine-day festival like Chaturshringi devasthan, Bhavani mata mandir, Tambdi Jogeshwari, Taljai, Mahalaxmi mandir, Padmavati are following the government norms and have decided to keep their temples shut.
Some temples in the city have taken a decision to live stream the rituals like ghatstapana on Saturday and the aarti of the goddess on their websites or social media pages.
“It is most unfortunate that we have to keep the temple closed during the Navratri celebrations, but one has to follow the government norms and rules which in the best interest during the Covid-19 situation in the city. Though we will be continuing with the religious rituals within the inner sanctum performed by the priests and staff, we will live stream on the big LED screen displayed near the big gate in our premises,” said Devendra Angal, managing trustee, Chaturshringi devasthan.
The Chaturshringi devasthan will upload videos and stream on their official page on social media and also on their website www.chattushringidevasthanpune.org and www.chattushringidevasthan.org.
The Mahalaxmi temple has also announced that it will be live streaming the ghatastpana and other programmes online.
But older temples in the city like Tambdi Jogeshwari are still undecided on how to reach out to their lakhs of devotees.
“We usually have a lot of women performing the puja and other rituals within the inner sanctum of the temple, and since it is a small space, we usually use to have a mandap outside the temple with all the nine vahanas on display, which also eased the crowds from entering into the temple, but this year, we are following the protocols laid by the government and also still haven’t got permission to put up LED screenings, so we are undecided,” said Vinayak Bendre, a priest at the Tambdi Jogeshwari temple.
There are at least 100 smaller temples who usually put up mandaps outside the small temples of the goddess. However, in light of the protocol, they have taken a decision to not to hold any programmes for nine days. “We will have ghatastapana within the small temple performed only by the priest and have cancelled most of our programmes except for a ‘hom’ which will be held outside the temple in a 10x10 mandap, provided we get permission,” said Kumar Renuse, president of the Nav Vishnu chowk mitra mandal, Navratri utsav, Sadashiv peth.
Madhav Jagtap, head of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) encroachment department said, “Looking at the Covid pandemic situation, we have begun unlock phase 4 however, not a single mandal or temple has approached us for permission for setting up mandaps for Navratri. It is a conscious decision by many mandals to follow the norms in the strictest possible way.”