Hyderabad: COVID scare has dampened Janmashtami celebrations at ISKCON Temple, Abids this year.

Temple administration has decided to telecast live aarti this year as a precautionary measure to avoid the crowd.

According to the lunar calendar, ISKCON will celebrate Janmashtmi on August 12. ISKCON Abids follows the lunar calendar. According to the solar calendar, Janmashtami will be celebrated on August 11.

“Keeping in mind the safety and health of devotees, it has been decided to beam the function live. Devotees can watch live worship on Lord Krishna, perform aarti and abhishek while sitting at home,” said Sambhu Vaishnava Das, Secretary, ISKCON Abids, Hyderabad.

Temple management said people, who want to visit the religious place, shall have to stay outside the barricade and main dome. “We will ensure that social distancing is maintained,” said Sambhu Vaishnava Das.

This year, the temple management has decided not to distribute prasadam due to COVID. “For distributing prasadam, hands have to be used, which is not safe given the pandemic. So this year, we have decided that we will not distribute it,” said Sambhu Vaishnava Das.

Even after the lockdown, many devotees avoided visiting the temple, “This year we have only seen a maximum of 50 people turning out at the temple on a special occasion. People are taking the utmost care about their safety. We are hoping fewer people turning out this year too due to safety concerns,” he said.

Devotees can watch arti live on ISKON Abids Facebook page and on their website http://iskconhyderabad.com/

Sumit Kumar Jha

Sumit Kumar Jha is currently a multimedia journalist with Newsmeter. An alumnus of Hyderabad Central University and Amity University, he has interned with The New Indian Express and CGNet Swara. Sumit has also worked with video production houses in Mumbai as an assistant director in shows like 21 Sarfrosh for Discovery Jeet. He is specialised in Video Production. He was also the contributor at PARI network. Hailing from rural Bihar has spent his childhood shifting from places and people. Growing up he felt the need to document the lives and dreams of rural India. A lover of visual storytelling goes around the cities to search for Stories. He primarily reports on civic, human interest and data stories.

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