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Nashik temple bars devotees' entry into sanctum to 'maintain sanctity'

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Nashik, Dec 28: Starting next month, devotees visiting the famous hilltop temple of Saptashrungi goddess in Nashik district of Maharashtra will not be allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum, except during puja and aarti, its trust has said.

Shree Saptashrung Nivasini Devi Trust, which manages the popular pilgrimage site, took this decision "to maintain the sanctity" of the temple. A large number of devotees visit the temple, which is popularly known as one of the "three and half Shakti Peethas" of Maharashtra, throughout the year.

Nashik temple bars devotees entry into sanctum to maintain sanctity

"In order to maintain the sanctity of the temple, the trust took a unanimous decision of not allowing devotees into the sanctum sanctorum," chairman of the trust Ganesh Deshmukh said on Friday.

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    "The decision will come into effect from January 1. Devotees can enter the sanctum sanctorum only during the puja and aarti, but even for that they will have to adhere to strict dress code," he added.

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    To gain entry during the puja and aarti, men will have to wear 'sovala' (a silk cloth), while women will have to wear a saree and also wrap a shawl around. They will have to register their names and pay a fee, Deshmukh said.

    Even VIPs will have to follow the same rules, he added. Meanwhile, a mobile app for booking online darshan and stay at 'Bhakta Niwas' will be launched by March next year, he said.

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