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ASI denies nod for puja at temple in Daulatabad fort

CHHATRAPATI SAMBHAJINAGAR: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Aurangabad circle, has denied permission to perform puja and other rituals to the sole priest at the Bharat Mata temple inside the 11th century Daulatabad Fort, citing that the structure is a non-living monument, reported..
Of the 3,693 centrally protected monuments and archaeological sites managed by ASI, around a fourth (820) include places of worship, while the rest are considered non-living monuments, where no new religious rituals can be started or conducted.
The Daulatabad Fort, also known as Deogiri Fort, has many tourist attractions, including the Bharat Mata temple dedicated to Mother India.
ASI’s superintending archaeologist Shiv Kumar Bhagat, in an order dated June 14, directed local authorities to prevent the priest from engaging in any puja or related rituals at the temple with immediate effect, saying permitting such religious activities “at any temple situated on the fort is in violation to the provisions in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act”.
Bhagat told TOI that his office had received multiple complaints from tourists against the priest performing puja at the temple.

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