June 2, 2023

The festivities draw lakhs of holiday makers yearly to the coastal city of Puri in Odisha. File


The Rath Yatra in Puri shall be held subsequent month with out the attendance of devotees and beneath strict Covid protocols. This would be the second 12 months in a row when the pandemic will forged its shadow on the celebrations that draw lakhs of holiday makers yearly to the coastal city in Odisha.

Odisha Special Relief Commissioner P Okay Jena stated solely servitors who’ve acquired their vaccine pictures and check unfavourable for Covid shall be allowed to participate within the rituals. All tips the Supreme Court issued final 12 months must be adopted whereas observing the rituals, he added.

“This year also, Lord Jagannath’s Rath Yatra will be held sans devotees in Puri. The administration has prohibited similar celebrations in other parts of the state,” Mr Jena was quoted as saying by information company PTI. “Curfew will be clamped on the holy town on the day of Rath Yatra. All restrictions imposed during last year’s event will remain in force,” he stated.

The Special Relief Commissioner stated the nine-day competition shall be held as per schedule and “just about 500 servitors will be allowed to pull the chariots during the period”.

He added that devotees can see the festivities stay on tv and webcasts.

District collector Samarth Verma stated Puri continues to be clocking about 300 Covid circumstances on daily basis.

“Only essential and emergency services will be allowed during the festival. Vehicular movement to and from Puri will

be restricted,” he stated, including that work to construct the chariots has reached its ultimate phases.

The Rath Yatra marks the annual journey of Lord Jagannath and his siblings, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra, to the Gundicha Temple about 2.5 km away, which is believed to be their aunt’s home.

Three large chariots, every with 18 wheels, are constructed yearly to take the deities on their journey.

Last 12 months, within the wake of the pandemic, the Supreme Court had initially stayed the celebrations. Later, it modified the order and allowed the rituals to happen with out the attendance of devotees and with a number of restrictions in place.

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