Lucknow, March 19 (IANS) All prominent Buddhist temples in Uttar Pradesh's Kushinagar have been closed following the state government's order in view of the COVID-19 scare.
The temples which have been closed include Mahaparinirvan temple, Matha Kanwar Shrine and Ramabhar Stupa or Mukti Bandhan — the place where Buddha was cremated in 483 BC.
The Sarnath temple in Varanasi had been closed two days ago.
Regional tourism officer Ravindra said, “All prominent Buddhist sites in Kushinagar have been closed as visa is not being issued to foreign tourists. Thousands of devotees from countries like Japan, Korea, China, and others visit these temples. This is the peak season of tourism and the closure has hit the industry.”
The Lucknow administration, in a late-night order on Wednesday, ordered closure of all massage parlours and spa centres in the state capital.
The famous National Botanical Gardens in Lucknow have also been closed for the public.
Tourism activities in tiger reserves and wildlife sanctuaries in the state have also been suspended with immediate effect till March 31.
The tours have been cancelled for the Dudhwa tiger reserve, Chuka in Pilibhit tiger reserve, and Kataraniaghat sanctuary.
“People can seek online refund against cancellations. This is a preventive measure to avoid gatherings,” said Uttar Pradesh Forest Corporation General Manager Eva Sharma. The Etawah Lion Safari will also remain closed till March 31.