Shravan Parikrama, a historic event held in Agra for years was cancelled due to Covid-19 pandemic.
The historic event, which takes place in the month of ‘Shravan’ according to the Hindu calendar, continued unabated before the pandemic.
However, due to the spread of coronavirus in Agra, the centuries-old tradition which consisted of holding mass prayers at the Shiva temples every Monday in the Shravan month, along with a massive ‘parikrama’ in which thousands of locals and devotees from nearby cities participated, has been broken.
“No religious function or event will be held in Agra during the month of Shravan and this includes the Monday prayers at the Shiva temples,” Agra District Magistrate Prabhu N Singh told India Today.
The DM said all the decisions have been made with the consent of the religious leaders and temple priests. “This is the first such decision. But it was necessary to cancel this year’s festivities for the protection of thousands of lakhs of people who visit temples,” the DM said.
Yogesh Puri, the head priest of the Mankameshwar Temple in Agra said that this is the first time in history that there will be no Shravan Parikrama.
As this Parikrama is held for the security and prosperity of Agra and its residents, it has been decided that public prayer events on Mondays will be canceled and the devotees can view the temple aarti online, Puri added.
Kailash Temple priest Yogesh Giri said that the first priority is to save the devotees from Covid-19 and temples are only open for those who are part of temple administration.
“Temples are open for prayers but only for those connected to the temple administration. Prayers are being conducted daily. The Kailash Mela, which is also a local holiday in Agra has been canceled,” Giri said.
Meanwhile, the Yogi Adityanath government has already banned any religious events in the state.