Published On: Tue, Jun 23rd, 2020

Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra begins in Odisha’s Puri

Odisha, June 23, 2020.

The Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra, one of India’s biggest religious festivals, is underway on Tuesday in the temple town in Odisha amid the coronavirus pandemic.

About a million devotees converge in Puri during the festivities but this year people will not be allowed after the Supreme Court placed several conditions, including the imposition of a curfew in Puri during the festivities.

A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, said in its order that each chariot would be pulled by not more than 500 people, including officials and police, and there has to be an interval of one hour between pulling of the chariots.

The Odisha government has imposed a 41-hour curfew in the temple town and started Covid-19 tests of 700 temple priests who would pull the three chariots.

Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Goddess Subhadra are usually worshipped in the sanctum of the famous Jagannath Temple in Puri. They are brought out of the temple every year on the second day of the third Hindu month of Asadha onto the Bada Danda street of Puri in three huge chariots accompanied by Sudarshana Chakra.

The nine-day Rath Yatra, or the chariot procession, celebrates this annual journey of Lord Jagannath and his two siblings from the 12th-century Jagannath Temple to Gundicha Temple, 2.5km away. The Gundicha Temple is their aunt’s home.

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