Puri: The Rath Yatra celebrations has been banned at all places in the state except Puri amid the COVID-19 pandemic, announced the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Pradeep Jena today.
The festival will be held in Puri without the participation of devotees, Jena said
The Supreme Court’s guidelines on conducting the annual festival of Lord Jagannath will be followed. The restrictions imposed during the last year’s Rath Yatra will remain in force this year. Only selected COVID negative and fully vaccinated servitors will take part, he added.
During Rath Yatra, curfew will be clamped in Puri. Live telecast feed of the festival will be supplied to media outlets, the SRC added.
He further said that other temples can only observe the rituals.
The festival of Rath Yatra sees the chariots of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra being brought out of the temple every year during the third month of the Hindu Calendar.
The nine-day festival celebrates the annual journey of Lord Jagannath and his siblings to the Gundicha Temple, which is their aunt’s place around 2.5 km away.
The Rath Yatra is the only festival in the world where deities are taken out of temples to travel to devotees.