Even though the Hanuman Mandir adjoining Patna Railway station has not been closed for Darshan, the temple is witnessing a sharp slowdown in the footfall of devotees due to COVID-19. On weekdays around ten thousand devotees visit the temple premises but now the number of visitors is meager. Even the sale of Navedyam Laddoos has declined. Priests are wearing masks and gloves to offer prasad to devotees.
Former IPS officer and Secretary of the Hanuman Mandir trust Kishore Kunal while speaking to Republic TV advised the devotees not to visit the temple, apprehending the spread of COVID-19 even though no case has been reported so far.
Kishore Kunal further said that "we want the devotees to come in fewer numbers. This temple has live streaming and people can do live darshan for 18 hours. People come here for three purposes, first for Darshan of Hanuman ji which they can do sitting at home through live streaming, second to offer prasad in the form of laddoo, which we will deliver to them at their home and third to celebrate their children's birthdays, for that we will send the priest to the child's home".
"Every day around fifteen to twenty thousand devotees visit the temple to offer prayers. On Sunday around twenty-five thousand, thirty thousand on Saturdays and on Tuesday 50 thousand people used to visit, but there has been a sharp decline in the number of visitors. On average every day fifteen thousand kilos of ladoos used to be sold but now around 11-12 thousand kilo ladoos are being sold. I will like to request the devotees to visit the temple in lesser numbers. We have stopped selling flowers too. All of us are taking precautions. We don't want the temple to be shut because of two reasons. First, there has been no case reported so far and second that the devotees come here in large numbers who have taken some pledge", Kunal assereted.
Temple Management has arranged for hand sanitizers at every touchpoint. The Temple's Priest said "we are taking all precautions so that the devotees or anybody doesn't get infected". Devotees are also visiting the temple wearing masks. One of the devotees said "I have come here to offer prayers wearing a mask since it's a very sacred place and I am not from Patna and I may not get the chance to visit this temple again.
Bihar government has already decided to close all schools, colleges, malls, theatres, and gyms till March 31. But the Hanuman Mandir Patna which is located right adjacent to Patna Railway Station has not been closed yet. Thousands of people from Patna and outside Patna offer prayers every day and keeping in mind the scare of the spread of COVID-19, the District administration, and Temple management committee should give it a thought to close the Temple for some time in the interest of health and safety. Many state governments have ordered the closure of Temples in various states.