On the first Monday of ‘Sawan’ (Shravan) month, devotees started coming to Lord Shiva temples in different parts of the country from the early morning to offer prayers. At Gauri Shankar Temple in Delhi’s Chandni Chowk, the temperature of devotees is being checked with thermometer gun, as a precautionary measure that has become a new normal.

However, the usual hustle-bustle is missing at the temple due to coronavirus outbreak which has affected the lives of people across the globe.

A priest at Gauri Shankar Temple said: “We pray to Lord Shiva to free us from coronavirus. We have done barricading, ensuring social distancing and temple premise is being regularly sanitized. We are not allowing anyone to offer water.”

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“Many things have changed at the temple. Social distancing is being maintained. People are not allowed to gather at one place,” said a devotee.

In Varanasi, devotees in large numbers throng Kashi Vishwanath temple. Police was present at the temple to maintain social distancing.

Shravan, the fifth month in the Hindu calendar, is considered to be the most auspicious month of the year. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva who, according to Hindu religious beliefs, is the creator, preserver, and destroyer of this universe.

While Lord Shiva is worshipped on Mondays throughout the year, Mondays during this particular month are considered highly significant and auspicious. The festival is predominantly celebrated in North Indian states.

It is believed that on ‘sawan ke somwar’ (Mondays falling in the month of Shravan), devotees observe a special fast and visit Shiva temples.

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