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Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra: Devotees entry banned, fully vaccinated servitors allowed

The head priest of Lord Jagannath Mandir performs a ritual in the campus of Lord Jagannath Temple  (AFP)Premium
The head priest of Lord Jagannath Mandir performs a ritual in the campus of Lord Jagannath Temple (AFP)

  • According to Odisha's Special Relief Commissioner Pradeep K Jena, in this year's Rath Yatra, there would be no participation of devotees and only servitors would be allowed
  • Only Covid-19 negative and fully vaccinated servitors will be allowed to take part in the rituals

Odisha government on Thursday said the annual Rath Yatra at the Jagannath Puri temple would be held on July 12 amid the second wave of coronavirus pandemic.

According to Odisha's Special Relief Commissioner Pradeep K Jena, in this year's Rath Yatra, there would be no participation of devotees and only servitors would be allowed.

The Supreme Court guidelines, issued last year, to conduct the Rath Yatra will be followed this year as well, Jena added.

"Puri Rath Yatra will be held this year following COVID restrictions, without the participation of devotees, only with servitors. Supreme Court guidelines, issued last year, to conduct the Rath Yatra will be followed," the Special Relief Commissioner told media.

He said only Covid-19 negative and fully vaccinated servitors will be allowed to take part in the rituals.

Currently, the Puri Jagannath temple is closed for the public till June 15 because of coronavirus infections.

Last year, the Odisha government prohibited public participation and arranged a live telecast of the event. This year also, the state government might take a similar decision.

The plans are made for live coverage of Snana Yatra (bathing festival) on June 24, Gundicha Yatra (car festival) on July 12, Bahuda Yatra (return car festival) on July 20, Suna-Besha (golden attire) on July 21 and Neeladri-Bije (return entry to Temple) on July 23.

Meanwhile, Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) informed that the chariot making of the three deities is going on in full swing by servitors with utmost devotion in compliance with the COVID-19 guidelines at Ratha Khala (chariot making yard).

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