Andhra's Srikalahasti temple to remain open on Sunday despite solar eclipse

Chittoor (Andhra Pradesh) [India], June 20 (ANI): Despite it being a solar eclipse, Andhra's Srikalahasti Temple will remain open on Sunday, said temple executive officer Chandrasekhar Reddy.

Normally, all temples remain closed during eclipses, he added.

The temple executive officer called on the devotees to come and offer prayers to Lord Sri Kalahasteeswara on Sunday, the day of the eclipse.

Reddy said, "Solar eclipse occurs from 10:18 am to 1:40 pm. Special abhishekams will be performed to the deities from 10:18 am to 11.45 am. All the temples in the country will be shut but only Lord Srikalahasteeswara temple will remain open on the solar eclipse day. Special poojas and special abhishekams will be performed."

He urged the pilgrims to come, bearing the precautions pertaining to COVID-19 in mind.

"I request the devotees to come to the temple. All precautions related to the coronavirus must be followed. The devotees must wear masks, follow the social distancing norms, and elders and children should not come. Rahu, Ketu poojas will also be conducted as usual," said the temple executive officer.

However, only 300-400 devotees will be allowed per hour. Devotees will be allowed from 6 am to 6 pm for Maha Laghu Darsanam, informed Reddy.

"In the Srikalahasti temple, abhishekam is performed four times a day normally. But on solar eclipse day, abhishekam will be held one more time, as per the temple rituals," the temple priest said.

He added, "This has been in place since ages; it is mentioned in Agama Sastras also. Similarly, additional abhishekam will be held on day of the lunar eclipse as well." (ANI)