Lord Jagannath's annual Rath Yatra will be held on Monday (July 12) in Odisha's Puri district amid strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had sought the cooperation of all including devotees for the smooth conduct of the yatra.
"Like last year, this time also the world-famous Mahaprabhu's Rath Yatra will be held in an extraordinary situation. 'Kalia Thakur' (as Lord Jagannath referred) will be seen all over the world on television and social media. Therefore, the lord's rituals should be performed in proper time and in addition, the COVID norms must be followed properly during the festival," Patnaik had said.
This is the second consecutive year that the state government is organising the devotee-less rath yatra due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic. The government has completely banned the presence of people at the Grand Road in front of the 12th-century shrine in Puri during the chariots procession.
Only COVID-19 negative or servitors having administered both doses of the vaccine will be allowed to pull the chariots. The officials will also have to produce the COVID-19 certificate before joining the duty, Puri Collector Samarth Verma had said.
With inputs from PTI
First Published: IST