Visakhapatnam: Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple at Simhachalam in Vizag city remains shut due to COVID-19 lockdown exactly a hundred years after it was closed due to Spanish Flu in 1920. The chandanotsavam was to have been held on April 26, 2020.

The executive officer of Simhachalam temple, M. Venkateswara Rao said that the annual Chandanotsavam draws at least two lakh devotees every year and is one of the main festivals of the primary deity of north-coastal Andhra Pradesh, Lord Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha.

“The festival is going to be a low key affair this year. We will not allow any darshan of the Lord Narasimha on April 26th (on festival day),” Mr Rao said.

Vizag police commissioner R.K. Meena said that the government has given instructions not to allow the general public as well as the VIPs for darshan on the annual Chandanotsavam. “We have put in all security measures around the Simhachalam area and will not allow anyone,” he added.

This year it is going to be a low key affair as we are passing through unprecedented times, said the chairperson of Simhachalam temple trust Sanchaita Gajapatiraju.

Video clips of the special pooja would be made available to the devotees all over the world, she said.

We don’t want to put lives of the people in danger. So we have put up barricades and deployed more police personnel to restrict the possible entry of devotees, the police said.

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