The Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra that involves a 21-day long Chandan Yatra has already begun from Narendra Sarovar in Puri, Odisha. Last year, the celebrations looked a bit empty without the devotees present at the venue owing to the pandemic. This year celebrations might be limited to the priests and workers at the event who have already begun constructing chariots that will host a series of rituals that serves as a crux for people's faith and belief in this world-famous festival. However, devotees might have to witness the splendour of the yatra from their homes since section 144 has been imposed near Puri Jagannath Temple and Narendra Sarovar. The administrators have decided that due to the pandemic the festivities will take place sans any visitors this year. Here are the rest of the details on the yatra that is slated to take place on July 12.

What is the Date of the Yatra?

The yatra will take place without any visitors on July 12th.

Who will be allowed to attend the yatra?

Only servitors and temple officials will be involved in the rituals this year. They will have to be tested and administered with two doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

What is prohibited under section 144?

Section 144 imposed on the visitors by the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration states that visitors will only be allowed to visit the temple on July 25th. The Yatra and the rituals will only be witnessed by servitors and temple officials on July 12. Moreover, Puri district magistrate-cum collector Samarth Verma said, Section 144 of CrPC will be imposed around the temple on Snan Yatra, the bathing festival of the deities of The trinity Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Devi Subhadra.

Detailed Schedule of The Yatra

  • The Snan Purinima on June 24, will start with the Pahandi (walking procession of the deities) at 1 am and end by 4 am.
  • A ritual that involves sweeping of the bathing place known as Chhera Pahanra is scheduled to be held at 10.30 am by Dibyasingh Deb, the titular king of Puri.
  • Following the sweeping ritual, the deities will be adorned with Gajanan Besha or Hati Besha (elephant attire) between 11.00 am and 12 noon.
  • The trinity- Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra, and Lord Jagannath – will be taken to the sick room known as Anusara Ghar
  • The return procession of the deities from the bathing pandal to the sick room inside the temple will take place between 5 pm-8 pm.
  • The Ansara rituals will continue for the next 15 days.
  • The world-famous Rath Yatra will be held without devotees on July 12 and procession will start at 8:30 am while chariot pulling will begin at 4 pm on the same day.
  • On July 21st, Lords Suna Besha (golden attire) will be held between 4 pm-11 pm on July 21.
  • On July 23rd, the Niladri Bijee - the return of the trinity to the main temple - will be held at 4 pm and will end at 10 pm.

The schedule for the annual Rath Yatra was finalised on Sunday by the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 23, 2021 03:18 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website