The Belur Math authorities has decided not to allow devotees during Durga Puja due to COVID related restrictions.

This is for the first time in the 119-year history of Durga Puja in Belur Math that pilgrims will not be allowed to witness the puja in the Belur Math premises.

The puja will be held inside the temple of Ramakrishna unlike in a marquee on an adjacent plot of the temple as being done for past 20 years.

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This year, the devotees will not be allowed in the Belur Math premises. But the Mission will not keep devotees out of the celebrations and will allow them on the premises virtually. The entire process of the puja will be live-streamed on social media.

A Belur Math spokesman said, “We request our lakhs of devotees, who visit the Belur Math temple compound and pandal on the four days every year, to sit at home and watch the rituals on YouTube from October 21 to 26 (the day of Panchami to Dashami).”

“The famous Kumari puja on the day of Asthami, where a girl of less than eight years of age is worshipped as Durga after being selected by monks, will also be held like in past years but only the child and her parents will be allowed after mandatory Covid-19 tests,” he further added

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RKM general secretary Swami Suvirananda said, “We will do everything that the puja demands, excepting for allowing devotees to attend physically to keep everybody safe. Almost 80% of our monks are over 60 years, 70% are over 80, and 10% over 90. We have to be extremely cautious.”