In a first, devotees will be allowed on the Snana Bedi (bathing altar) for the darshan of Lord Jagannath and his siblings on the occasion of Deba Snana Purnima — a bathing ritual for the deities. The decision was taken in light of the improving COVID-19 situation in the state.
After a gap of two years caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, devotees will once again be alowed to take part in the Puri Jagannath Snana Yatra. The Puri district administration and the Shree Jagannath Temple administration are making preparations to ensure a smooth conduct of the Snana Yatra (bathing ceremony), which will be held in Puri, Odisha, on June 14.
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The decision was announced by the temple adminstration following a preparatory meeting with the Daitapati Nijog servitors on Thursday. In a first, devotees will be allowed on the Snana Bedi (bathing altar) for the darshan of Lord Jagannath and his siblings on the occasion of Deba Snana Purnima — a bathing ritual for the deities. The meeting was chaired by the temple's Chief Administrator Vir Bikram Yadav.
"The Deva Snana Purnima of the Holy Trinity will be held on June 14. To ensure the smooth conduct of the festival, the chief administrator held discussions with members of the Daitapati, Puspalak, Pujapanda, Pratihari, Khuntia, and Suarmahasuar Nijogs. We will iron out details in our next meeting," Temple Ritual Administrator Jitendra Sahu said.
"After a gap of two years, Snana Yatra this year will be held this year with public participation. Devotees will be able to witness Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, Lord Sudarshan and Devi Subhadra from the path below the bathing altar. Devotees will not be charged for darshan on Snana Mandap," said Temple Mangement Committe Member Durga Dasmohapatra.
Chhatisha Nijog Secretary Ramkrushna Dasmohapatra said, "Devotees will be happy to hear that for the first time, they will be allowed to witness rituals from near the Snana Mandap after Hati Besha, and also participate in the ‘Sahana Mela’ of the sibling deities for 2-3 hours after Hati Besha."
The temple administration took this decision in light of the ebbing COVID-19 cases in the state.
The Puri Rath Yatra will be held on July 1, with the temple adminstration in favour of allowing public participation in the procession, though an official decision has yet to be taken. Everything depends on the COVID situation in the state, a source said, adding that the Ratha Jatra coordination committee will meet in Puri on Friday in this regard.