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Over 10 lakh pilgrims visit Kashi Vishwanath temple in 48 hours March 06th, 2019 from Times of India

Over 10 lakh pilgrims visit Kashi Vishwanath temple in 48 hours

In a historic first, the Vishwanath Temple Trust opened the temple’s sanctum sanctorum for devotees an hour after ‘Shayan Aarti’ on Sunday night, a day before Mahashivratri. Usually, doors open at dawn after completion of ‘Mangala Aarti’.

Traditionally, the temple is shut for the day after ‘Shayan Aarti’ , except on Mahashivratri. This move by the temple and district administration enabled over six lakh pilgrims to enter temple premises and have jhanki darshan — offering prayers to Lord Vishwanath from the door of the sanctum sanctorum — in 24 hours between Sunday and Monday midnight. As the temple remained open on Monday night, officials estimated over 10 lakh pilgrims at Kashi Vishwanath temple premises by Tuesday night. The decision was taken as lakhs of pilgrims had reached Kashi from Pragyaraj Kumbh and assembled in and around the temple to perform mahashivratri rituals. SSP Anand Kulkarni said, “With crowds swelling, temple administration decided to keep temple open and allow only jhanki darshan. It ensured entry of over six lakh pilgrims. In earlier Kumbhs, mahashivratris and Monday of Shravan months, maximum 2.5 lakh pilgrims may have received darshan.”

Kashi Vishwanath Temple Trust chairman Ashok Dwivedi said, “Due to pilgrim pressure, particularly with women and children queuing up outside the temple, I exercised my special privilege and allowed the temple and local administration to reopen the sanctum sanctorum, an hour after Shayan Aarti on Sunday.

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