Ayodhya restricts entry of pilgrims, visitors

Administration asks hotels, lodges, dharamshalas to cancel bookings till April 2

The Ayodhya administration on Saturday ordered restriction on the entry of visitors, pilgrims and sadhus into the district till April 2 even though it did not explicitly cancel the upcoming Ram Navami Mela amid an outbreak of COVID-19.

The district administration invited heavy criticism after it appeared that it was pushing ahead with the annual Ram Navami mela despite precautionary measures laid down by the State against any form of congregations.

District Magistrate Anuj Kumar Jha issued an advisory to control the possible crowding of people in Ayodhya during Ram Navami, scheduled from March 25. While the advisory does not say the mela is cancelled, it puts serious restrictions on gathering in the district.

All visitors and pilgrims planning to visit Ayodhya Dham have been asked to avoid going there. The restrictions will be in place till April 2, said the administration.

“Those visitors and pilgrims coming from outside will be stopped at the Ayodhya border and sent back to their places,” said the advisory.

The administration has also asked hotels, lodges and dharmashalas in Ayodhya to cancel all bookings till April 2 while also putting restrictions on the gathering of crowds at temples and religious places.

Common bathing in the Saryu river has also been banned.

Mr. Jha said the travel restrictions were imposed for people visiting Ayodhya during Ram Navami “in line with the appeal of” the seers in the district.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 3:22:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/ayodhya-restricts-entry-of-pilgrims-visitors/article31132051.ece

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