Daily rituals and prayers have remained unhindered at Gujarat's renowned Somnath Temple, located on the coast of the Arabian Sea, amid the alert issued in view of Cyclone Vayu.
Gujarat Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama on Thursday endorsed the decision of the Shiva temple authorities to keep the shrine open despite the alert.
"Temples cannot be closed. We have requested tourists not to visit, but 'aarti' being performed for decades cannot be stopped. This is a natural phenomenon, only nature can stop it, who are we to stop nature," he told reporters on Thursday.
However, despite the warning, many devotees visited the beach temple this morning. The shrine in Gir Somnath district was hit by strong winds while the sea remained very rough.
According to the India Meteorological Department, the cyclone changed its trajectory overnight and moved further into the sea, bringing much-needed relief to the people in the coastal areas of Gujarat, where it was earlier predicted to make landfall on Thursday.
However, the western coast is still on high alert as strong winds and rough sea conditions are expected for the next 24 to 48 hours.