Rukuna Ratha festival will not be held this year: Lingaraj Temple admin

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Bhubaneswar: The age-old tradition of Rukuna Ratha festival of Lord Lingaraj has been suspended this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Lord Lingaraj Temple Administration has decided not to hold the annual car festival of Lord Lingaraj on the auspicious occasion of Ashokashtami on April 1.

Khordha District Collector, Sitanshu Kumar Rout, who is the Chairperson of Shree Lingaraj Temple Trust Board, has informed the chiefs of servitor communities accordingly.

The temple administration has made it abundantly clear that it cannot take the risk of conducting Rukuna Ratha festival this year as per the lockdown guidelines.

This is for the first time that the age-old tradition of Lord Lingaraj of Ekamra Kshetra will be interrupted due to coronavirus threat.

Sources said that the chariot work was at the final stage but with the suspension of the car festival of Lord Lingaraj, all the rituals and traditions related to the religious event were closed for this year.

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