Hindustan Times (Lucknow)
Covid pandemic shadow on Bada Mangal: No bhandaras, but devout go for darshan
LUCKNOW : Bada Mangal in the city of nawabs is not just an auspicious or festive occasion but a celebration of the spirit of Lucknow. Dedicated to Lord hanuman, Bada Mangal is celebrated on all Tuesdays of Jyeshtha month of the Hindu calendar. The day has always been marked by bhandaras ( food distribution) to ensure no one goes hungry at least on this day. But this year, the pandemic changed all of that.
There were no pandals on roadsides on Tuesday to offer food, cold drink and other edibles to weary commuters, worn out rickshaw-pullers and other have-nots, due to the partial corona curfew.
The devotees of Lord Hanuman missed the bhandaras but steadfastly performed darshan of Lord Hanuman at Bada Hanuman temple in Aliganj and other temples.
Entry was not allowed inside the sanctum sanctorum to ensure social distancing. However, partly cloudly weather was a relief for those who went to temples for darshan of Lord Hanuman.
The tradition of parikrama of temple was also affected as the ritual was not allowed due to the pandemic.
The devotees performed the darshan from the platform in front of main entry in old Hanuman Temple. The priest of New Hanuman Temple Anil Tewari said that the ceremonies began with the arti of Lord Hanuman in the morning hours.
Hanuman Setu temple, though decked up with flowers, remained closed for devotees. But the arti was webcast live on the social media page of the temple.
However, devotes performed darshan from the University Road side gate. Secretary of Sankat Mochan temple at Hanman Setu Diwakar Tripathi said , “A number of people came for darshan but they got a glimpse of the statue of Lord from the side of University Road. Offering prasad was not allowed so people returned after darshan.
Devotees also went to Puccapul Hanuman temple, Tadian Hanuman temple , Talkatora road Balaji temple and Alambagh Mauni Baba temple for darshan, albeit from outside the gates.
Meanwhile around 30 people got themselves registered for bhandara through Mangalman site in the city. They donated the ration and other edible items to Mangalman volunteers. Mayor Sanyukta Bhatia said food was distributed to around 3,000 people through the bhandara organized by volunteers of Mangalman.