According to the Hindu calendar, the annual fair is held on five consecutive Sundays in the month of Magh.
This tradition of visiting the temple for five consecutive Sundays is called “khete”.
Thousands of devotees from Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara, Solapur, Pandharpur districts and parts of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh climb Jyotiba temple hill for khete every year.
Shivraj Naikawde, the secretary of PMDS, said, “Only devotees with an e-pass will be allowed to enter Jyotiba temple for khete. Every hour, 1,500 devotees will be allowed to enter the temple. Every day we allow entry to 22,500 devotees. A live darshan facility will be provided by the administration to devotees through various social media platforms. Children under the age of 10 will not be permitted inside the temple premises.
Meanwhile, traders at Jyotiba Temple are disappointed with the decision to rely on e-passes. Anil Gurav, a shopkeeper near the temple, said, “We get maximum business during the annual ‘Khete’ and Chaitra Yatra because thousands of devotees visit the temple during this time. If only worshipers with e-passes are allowed in, we will again have less business as fewer worshipers will come here.