The annual Rath Yatra in Odisha’s Puri will be held next month without the attendance of devotees and under strict COVID-19 protocols. The Rath Yatra the annual journey of the three deities from the 12th century Jagannath temple to the Gundicha temple.
The centuries-old festival ends after nine days when the deities – Lord Jagannath, his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra – make their way back to the Jagannath temple.
The state government said the Rath Yatra will be held on July 12. However, only COVID-19 negative and fully vaccinated servitors will be allowed to take part in the rituals.
According to Odisha Special Relief Commissioner Pradeep K Jena, only COVID-19 negative and fully vaccinated servitors will be allowed to take part in the rituals.
In 2020, the yatra of the deities was undertaken sans devotees who were barred to take part in the festival owing to COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, the Rath Yatra is attended by lakhs of devotees, including foreign visitors.