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Odisha: Temple Administration Releases Guidelines For Rath Yatra 2021

by Swati Sahoo

The administration of Shree Jagannath Temple in Puri issued some crucial guidelines on Saturday that must be strictly followed throughout the celebration of this year’s Rath Yatra, which begins on July 12.

Soon after conducting a vital meeting with the Chhattisa Nijog (sects of servitor bodies), police, and district administration about the smooth implementation of the annual car festival, temple office head administrator Krishan Kumar provided light on the protocols.

The temple office has set forth the following requirements for strict adherence to Covid guidelines as well as the Supreme Court of India’s norms.

Those are as follows:

1) During the deities’ Gundicha and Bahuda Yatras, only servitors would be allowed to pull the chariots.

2) During the Dakhina Moda rite (southward movement of the chariots), police will be present.

3) No officials, temple staff, or district administration employees will be allowed to pull chariots this year, like last year.

4) To avoid incidences of people taking selfies and photos on top of the chariots, the servants will not be permitted to bring their phones or cameras to the celebration.

5) Covid tests will be conducted on all participants, including sevayats, police, and officials, in accordance with the Odisha Health Department’s pandemic rules.

6) During the festival, participants will be given sanitizers, masks, and gamuchhas.

7) Because of the hot weather, the management is planning to put up rest camps near the Srimandir and the Gundicha Temple to provide relief to the servants and other participants.

8) Medical care will be installed in the rest camps in order to avoid any healthcare-related issues during the festival.

9) After the ceremonies are completed, transportation arrangements have been made to transport servitors back to their homes.

10) In and around the temples & Bada Danda Section 144 will be strictly enforced.

11) In a few days, the exact number of servitors who will be permitted to sit atop the chariot platform will be published, but an agreement has been reached that just a small number of sevayats will be permitted to remain on the chariots.

12) Because devotees would only be able to see the deities and rites via television and the internet, a thorough SOP is being finalised to assure a clear display of the event from the chariot with no interruption from servitors.




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