Chariots of Lord Jagannath and siblings return to main temple without devotees
The Bahuda Yatra signifying the return of the holy trinity of Lord Jagannath and his siblings to the 12th century Jagannath temple in Puri began Wednesday morning with servitors pulling the chariots back from the Gundicha temple.
There were no devotees in line with a Supreme Court order in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. On June 23 too, the Rath Yatra took place without any devotees.
After the morning rituals at Gundicha temple, the three deities set off for the main temple atop their respective chariots. Lord Balabhadra, the eldest was the first to set off in his red-bluish green coloured chariot Taladhwaja, followed by Goddess Subhadra in red-black chariot Darpadalana. Lord Jagannath was the last to start in his red-yellow chariot Nandighosha.
The ritual of chhera pahanra (sweeping) was performed by Puri king Gajapati Dibyasingha Deb on three chariots between 10.30 am and 11.15 am. The pulling of chariots started at 11.25 am, ahead of a schedule fixed by the Sri Jagannath temple administration. The entire process is being telecast live by Doordarshan as well as state government’s own agencies.
Sri Jagannath temple chief administrator Dr Krishan Kumar said all the rituals of the festival till now have been completed on time.
This was also the first time in 285 years when the Bahuda Yatra like the Rath Yatra was held without the presence of a single devotee.
The Rath Yatra was earlier stalled following SC order on June 18. However, following interventions by several individuals including the head priest of the temple, the apex court had allowed the Rath Yatra on the condition that there is no public attendance and all entry points into Puri will remain closed. It also said each of 3 chariots, would be pulled by not more than 500 people who test negative for coronavirus.
Though around 2,000 servitors were tested ahead of the Rath Yatra on June 23, over 5,500 persons including servitors, police, staff of temple administration and sanitary staff were again tested for the Bahuda Yatra two days ago. Out of them 12 including a servitor tested positive for coronavirus.
“The persons who tested positive have been isolated and their contact tracing is on. All the servitors who took part in today’s Bahuda Yatra had tested negative for Covid,” said Puri district collector Balwant Singh.
After arriving at Simhadwar, the main gate of the Jagannath temple, the three deities will be draped in Sunabesha (golden attire) on Thursday.
Adharpana ritual, which witnesses serving 100 litres of pana (sweet drink) to the deities in specially made terracotta pots, will be held on Friday. On Saturday, the three deities would be taken back to the main temple in a ritual called Niladri Bije.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- A former state minister said that the OBC survey was an attempt to create an OBC votebank and this would be the first instance in Odisha of influencing voting as per caste lines.
- Goa Mineral Ore Exporters Association (GMOEA), a body of mine owners, said they have written to the Centre expressing reservations over the proposed amendments.
- The notice under the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 notified on February 25, was issued on March 1 and served on Tuesday morning to the publisher/intermediary of Khanasi Neinasi, which means Let’s Talk in Manipuri.