Amid continuing Covid-19 virus infection in the State, authorities have decided to shut the Shree Jagannath temple in Puri till 25 July.
The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA), the apex body of the 12th century shrine, had earlier taken the decision to keep the temple out of bounds for devotees till 15 June.
“As decided earlier, the annual Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath and his siblings will be held on 12 July this year without participation of devotees like it was conducted last year in view of the COVID situation. The Rath Yatra in Puri will take place as per the SOP and no devotees will be allowed to participate in line with last year’s Supreme Court order”, Chief Administrator, SJTA, Krishan Kumar told reporters.
The ‘Deba Snana’ rituals of the divine trinity will be held on 24 June at the snana mandap (bathing altar) of Jagannath Temple without devotees’ participation, he said.
The age-old traditions of Niti-Kanti (rituals) of Mahaprabhu Shree Jagannatha will continue in conformity with the COVID-19 protocol. Only a selected batch of COVID negative and fully vaccinated servitors will be allowed to take part in the annual rituals of Lord Jagannath including the famous Rath Yatra festival, he said adding that decision on the reopening of the temple for devotees will be taken only after COVID situation improves.