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Sharmili Mallick

Puri: With the Lord Jagannath Temple in the pilgrim town closed for devotees and no special arrangements in place Puri this year to observe the holy Kartika month beginning tomorrow, the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions have played as a dampener for Habishyalis.

Every year Habishyalis throng the pilgrim town in lakhs of numbers to observe one-month-long Kartika Brata. However, with the pandemic restrictions in place, the State government has made no provision for Habishyalis' stay in the town.

Habishyalis especially the locals in Puri have requested Odisha government and district administration to relax norms for people observing Kartika brata and allow them to observe rituals and perform pujas near Srimandir.

"As we are not allowed inside the temple, we will observe the rituals of Kartika brata at homes. I request the concerned administration to make arrangements for Habishyalis in Puri," said a devotee paying obeisance to Lord Jagannath outside the Srimandir.

“I would suggest government relaxes pandemic guidelines to allow habishyalis to observe their rituals around the temple or at least near Aruna Stambha, if not into the shrine,” said Madhav Mohapatra.

Meanwhile, the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration has finalized all the ritual timings of the Srimandir to be performed during the holy month.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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