Mangaluru, May 29, 2020: The small shops selling framed pictures of presiding deities, trinkets, toys and canteens on the way leading to the entrance of popular temples across the districts are buzzing with activities.
Those running these private establishments are solely dependent on pilgrims and tourists and have already begun clearing the dust and moping the floor in order to keep the shops spotlessly clean on the day when the temple throws its doors open to its devotees.
“Fifty per cent of staff who had returned to their villages have been asked to come back,” said Harish Kamath of Neo Mysore Cafe which is located close to Kukke Subrahmanaya temple in Subrahmanya.
Kamath says he is brimming with joy and had never expected that the government would order the opening of temples on June 1.
“Business will not be like before but there will be pilgrims and tourists visiting the temple,’’ said Raghu of Sri Amrutha Easy Stay, located near Sri Annapoorneshwari Temple in Horanadu. He said in December and January business had doubled and they had re-invested the profits on improving facilities in the hotel without an inkling about the coronavirus crisis.
“Besides boredom, there were fears on whether the temples would be allowed to open and whether they would eke out a living as before,” he said and declared that opening of temples was a right step in the direction of reviving the micro economy.
Even devotees have welcomed the government’s decision. Veena Shantaram, a resident of Mangaluru, said closing the doors of the temple was not a good idea.
“Government should have ensured social distancing and batch-wise visits to the temples,” Veena added.
“My husband and I are devotees of Shri Narasimha temple in Mulki. We used to visit Mulki once in a week or once in a fortnight. These visits became difficult due to the lockdown and non-availability of public transport.
“During the relaxation of the lockdown, we used to offer prayers from outside and return. We are happy that temples will be opening on June 1,” she added.