Subrat Kumar Sarangi
Bhubaneswar (NVI): The return journey of Lord Jagannath, also known as ‘Bahuda Yatra’ was organised without devotees in Odisha’s Puri today as the deities made their way back to the Jagannath temple after 9 days stay at Gundicha temple.
The holy trinity of Lord Jagannath, Devi Subhadra and Lord Balabhadra made their way back to the 12th-century old temple as servitors and police personnel pulled back the chariots, as per the centuries-old custom, this time without devotees though, due to the Covid pandemic.
For the first time, this Yatra also- just like Rath Yatra- happened without a congregation of devotees as the district administration had called for shutdown up to 2nd July, following Supreme Court guidelines on COVID-19.
The deities returned to the temple with their individual chariots — Nandighosha (Lord Jagannath), Taladhwaja (Lord Balabhadra), Darpadalana (Devi Subhadra) in a ceremonial procession ritual.
Only those police personnel and servitors, whose COVID-19 taste reports came negative, were allowed to perform the ceremonial rituals.
The Supreme Court, which earlier allowed Rath Yatra without congregation of devotees, had asked the Odisha government to engage only COVID-19 free persons in the nine-day Rath Yatra festival.