File photo of Mahabodhi Temple. Photograph:( PTI )
Mahabodhi Temple, which was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2002, was shut down in April to curb the spread of the virus
India's popular Buddhist pilgrimage site, the Mahabodhi Temple or the Mahabodhi Mahavihar has been re-opened on Friday (August 27) after being shut down for months due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Bodhgaya Temple Management Committee (BTMC) Secy, Nangzey Dorjee said, "We had to, unfortunately, keep the (Mahabodhi) temple closed since around last April for everyone's safety."
"The good thing is that from today the temple has been reopened at normal timings from 5am (GMT1130 ) to 9(GMT 0330) in the evening so we did proper preparations and it was reopened," he added.
Mahabodhi Temple, which was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2002, was shut down in April to curb the spread of the virus — a period when India was struggling with the deadly second COVID-19 wave.
Devotees, including tourists, were happy with the reopening of the temple as they visited the holy site to offer prayers to Lord Buddha. The temple complex is revered by the Buddhists, since Lord Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment there.
A resident named Anurag was quoted by Reuters, he said, "It feels really good that today we came here for the first time, on the first day as it (Mahabodhi Temple) reopened. We came here to visit and it feels really good."
"The temple was closed for many days so the devotees and the tourists who wanted to come could not come. It is good that it reopened now so people will come here to visit and the local who make their livelihood from here can earn well," he added.