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Puri Rath Yatra: Lord Jagannath & Sibling Deities Embark On Solitary Sojourn Without Devotees

Puri: It is hard to imagine Rath Yatra without devotees, but the Holy Trinity embarked on a solitary sojourn as the festival was celebrated with restrictions as per the Supreme Court’s directive in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. All the three deities reached the Gundicha Temple ahead of schedule today. The Pahandi at Mausi Maa Temple will be held tomorrow morning.

Apart from servitors, security personnel and other officials of the State government and the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA), no other person was allowed on the Badadanda which used to get packed to the brim during the Rath Yatra.

However, millions of devotees were glued on to their television sets to watch the mega nine-day festival, which began today as Lord Jagannath and his siblings embarked on a journey to the Gundicha temple.

The residents of Puri once again followed the shutdown restrictions and did not congregate on Badadanda.

Though the devotees expressed their disappointment for not being able to get a glimpse of Lord Jagannath on this special day from Badadanda, they were content that there was no deviation in the Rath Yatra tradition as earlier Supreme Court on June 18 had directed for cancellation of the annual festival in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the apex court yesterday permitted the conduct of Rath Yatra only in Puri after hearing several petitions filed seeking modification of its previous order.

Puri Gajapati Maharaj Dibyasingha Deb, who earlier performed Chhera Panhara ritual on the three chariots, too expressed his disappointment over the conduct of the festival without devotees. “It is hard to imagine Rath Yatra in Puri without devotees. Lord Jagannath must also be searching for his devotees on Badadanda. But as Jagannath is the Lord of the universe, he stepped out of Srimandir to give darshan to everybody,” said Gajapati Maharaj.

All the rituals including Pahandi in which the deities were taken out of the Srimandir in a ceremonial procession to the three gigantic chariots and the subsequent pulling of chariots concluded on schedule. As per tradition, the chariot of Balabhadra was pulled first, followed by Goddess Subhadra and Lord Jagannath’s chariots.

(Edited By Bikram Keshari Jena)

Also Read: Rath Yatra 2020: Lord Steps Out Of Puri Srimandir To Meet Devotees

Also Read: Rath Yatra 2020: Odisha Orders Curfew-Like Shutdown In Puri District

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