The Shree Jagannath Temple in Puri will be closed for visitors till March 31 with effect from Friday, in view of the coronavirus scare, a top official of the 12th-century shrine said.
Servitors, however, will be allowed to perform rituals inside the shrine, its chief administrator Krishan Kumar said.
"Darshan by devotees inside the temple will remain suspended from tomorrow till March 31. However, the rituals inside the temple will continue. Only the servitors can enter the temple premises to perform the rituals," he explained.
Ramachandra Dasmohapatra, a member of the Shree Jagannath Temple Managing Committee, said a meeting will be held to work out the modalities for performing rituals and ceremonial functions at the shrine.
Describing the move to shut down the temple as "unprecedented", Dasmohapatra said this was perhaps the first time in a very long time that entry of visitors to the shrine has been completely prohibited.
As part of the precautionary measures, the district administration has also advised tourists to vacate hotels in the seaside town within two days and refrain from visiting Puri for now.