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Jagannath Rath Yatra begins in Puri amid COVID pandemic

The Supreme Court has allowed the state to hold the festival with certain restrictions in the wake of Coronavirus pandemic. Only 500 people have been allowed to pull the chariots.

Jun 23, 2020 11:53 IST
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The world-famous annual Jagannath Rath Yatra began on June 23, 2020 in Odisha’s Puri after the Supreme Court gave its approval and left it on the wisdom of the state, centre and temple management to manage the festival.

The Supreme Court has allowed the state to hold the festival with certain restrictions in the wake of Coronavirus pandemic. Only 500 people have been allowed to pull the chariots.

The Additional Director General of Police will be supervising the arrangements for the yatra. The pulling of every chariot will be supervised by a senior officer.

Key Highlights

•  During the Puri Rath Yatra, also known as the annual chariot festival, chariots of the Lords Jagannath and Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra will be pulled by select servitors and police officials. 

•  The idol of Lord Balabhadra has been brought to the chariot by priests and 'sevayats' for the Rath Yatra from Jagannath Temple in Puri.

•  The rituals for the yatra have begun including Mangal Aarati followed by Mailam, Tadaplagi, Rosha hom, Aabakasha and Surya puja.

•  The Pahandi ritual (procession) has also begun. The processions will also see participation from performing artists and priests. 

•  The Supreme Court found a midway to allow the renowned Rath Yatra to be held from where devotees can attend it from their homes through televisions and smartphones. 

•  For the people present during the yatra, the district administration will be ensuring that all health guidelines are followed to stop the spread of coronavirus. 

•  The administration is taking particular care to ensure that all participants are wearing masks and follow social distancing protocol. 

Background

The Supreme Court had on June 22, 2020 altered its earlier order and allowed the annual Jagannath Rath Yatra to be held. The court left the responsibility of the coordination of the yatra to the Temple committee, State and Central government without compromising with the health issue of the attendees. 

The apex court had earlier on June 18 said that this year's Puri Rath Yatra cannot be allowed keeping in mind the health and safety of citizens in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic. 

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एग्जाम की तैयारी के लिए ऐप पर वीकली टेस्ट लें और दूसरों के साथ प्रतिस्पर्धा करें। डाउनलोड करें करेंट अफेयर्स ऐप

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