Devotees will not be allowed to use mobile phones in Mahakal Temple ground although they can use it in Mahakal Lok corridor.
The famous Mahakaleshwar temple in Ujjain has barred devotees from carrying mobile phones inside its premises as a measure to curb filming dance video reels.
Devotees will have to deposit their phones with temple workers at any of the three entrances of the temple, it said. Temple workers will click a photo of the phone while depositing it and give the respective visitor a receipt slip.
Any violation will attract a penalty of ₹200. However, there will be no restrictions on photography in the newly-inaugurated Mahakal Lok Corridor.
The decision comes after multiple cases of people shooting short videos inside the temple premises came to light in recent days.
“Cloakrooms have been built at the temple’s Mansarovar entrance, in front of the administrative office, and at gate number 4. To ensure that the mobiles are returned to the correct person, a system of barcodes and photographing the person depositing the phones has been implemented,” said Sandeep Soni, a temple official.
He further said, “In the case of a group, the mobile depositor will be photographed with the tray containing the mobiles, and he/she will be given a token with a QR code.”
The ban on mobile phones applies only to visitors of the Mahakaleshwar Temple grounds, and devotees will be able to use their phones in the Mahakal Lok Corridor.
On Monday evening, Ujjain collector Asheesh Singh and superintendent of police (SP) Satyendra Kumar Shukla visited the temple and the corridor to assess the arrangements for devotees. They also provided guidelines to the temple administration for entry and exit as well as the darshan system as the number of visitors rose following the inauguration of the corridor.
The temple has a capacity of storing 10,000 mobile phones at a time, which will be strengthened further by making changes in the phone management software.