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'Garbhagriha' of Jalpesh Temple shut for devotees on specific dates

Garbhagriha of Jalpesh Temple shut for devotees on specific dates

Amitava BanerjeeDarjeeling: The District Magistrate, Jalpaiguri has issued a notice informing the public that the Garbagriha (sanctum sanctorum) of the 350-year-old Jalpesh Shiva Temple in Maynaguri, Jalpaiguri will remain closed on specified dates and times. However, devotees can pour water on the deity from outside through channels installed for facilitating this task.

The notice states: "All are informed that the Hon'ble Circuit Bench of Calcutta High Court at Jalpaiguri, has been pleased to pass an order in connection with the W.A.P 2016 of 2022, in the matter of Raj Kumar Das Vs The State of West Bengal and others that the entry of the public into the Garbho griho at Jalpesh Mandir, Maynaguri, District, Jalpaiguri will remain closed from 8 pm on 7/8/2022 to 4 pm of 08/08/ 2022 and from 8 pm of 14/08/2022 till 4 pm of 15/08/22. However, water can be poured from outside the Garbhagriha through channels which are installed for facilitating pouring of water onto the deity," stated the order.

Incidentally Raj Kumar Das, a devotee had filed a petition stating the dangers he had faced when he had visited the sanctum sanctorum of the temple and also stated that in the past two weeks, specially on Sundays and Mondays 2 to 3 lakh people visit the temple.

Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay in an interim order found merit in the apprehension as the sanctum is like a basement located 11 ft below the ground and the Lingam is only felt by touch and not seen.

Justice Gangopadhyay ruled that except for temple committee members and priests and their assistants be allowed in the Garbhagriha on August 7 and 8th and August 14 and 15 from 8 pm to 4 pm.

Justice Gangopadhyay ordered committee members to install channels so that water can be poured from outside and giant screens so that devotees can watch the poured water falling on the 'Shiva Lingam'.

On July 31, 10 devotees died of electrocution in a pickup van enroute to Jalpesh from Cooch Behar.

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