Odisha: Rath Yatra begins today after Supreme Court nod
Odisha: Supreme Court Nod For Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra; Conditions Applied
Odisha’s famous Rath Yatra began today after the nod from The Supreme Court. The authorities in Odisha were allowed to hold the annual Yatra of Lord Jagannath and his siblings in Puri. But there are conditions applied.
On June 18 an by the Supreme Court had prohibited this year’s celebrations amid the coronavirus pandemic. Now A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde has allowed the iconic Yatra to be held but with conditions applied.
As soon as the SC gave its nod, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik tweeted saying: “Jai Jagannath”. This morning, he tweeted in Odia: “Heartiest greetings and congratulations on the occasion of the Holy Rath Yatra. On this occasion, I pray to the Lord for the happiness, prosperity and well-being of the people of the state.”
— Naveen Patnaik (@Naveen_Odisha) June 23, 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi too wished the people,
भगवान जगन्नाथ की रथ यात्रा के पावन-पुनीत अवसर पर आप सभी को मेरी हार्दिक शुभकामनाएं। मेरी कामना है कि श्रद्धा और भक्ति से भरी यह यात्रा देशवासियों के जीवन में सुख, समृद्धि, सौभाग्य और आरोग्य लेकर आए। जय जगन्नाथ!
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 23, 2020
The SC has set several conditions, including the imposition of a curfew in Puri during the nine-day festivities.
Here is what the top court said:
* The court ordered all entry points to Puri, including railway stations and bus stands, to be closed during the festival.
* The state government shall impose a curfew in the city of Puri on all the days and during all the time when Rath Yatra chariots are taken in procession.
* During the period of curfew, no one would be allowed to come out of their houses or their places of residence, such as hotels, lodging houses.
* Each Rath or chariot shall be pulled by not more than 500 persons and they must be tested for Covid-19.
* They shall be permitted to pull the chariot only if they have been found negative, the court said.
* All those pulling the chariots should maintain social distancing before, during, and after the Rath Yatra.
* There should be a gap of one hour between two chariots.
* The committee in-charge of Puri Jagannath Temple Administration will have responsibility for conducting the Rath Yatra.
* Minimum number of people shall be allowed by the committee to participate in the rituals and the Rath Yatra.
* The rituals and the Rath Yatra shall be covered by the visual media.
Rath Yatra, or the chariot journey, celebrates the annual visit of Lord Jagannath and his two siblings —Balabhadra and Subhadra from the 12th-century Jagannath Temple to their aunt’s place in Gundicha temple, 2.5km away. The three deities are taken in massive wooden chariots weighing 85 tonnes each. They come back to the Jagannath Temple on the 10th day in a return journey after staying in Gundicha temple for nine days.