Sans devotees Puri Rath Yatra begins

After Supreme Court’s recent verdict, Puri’s famous Rath Yatra began today morning without devotees in a historic first. A large number of priests and temple attendants gathered at the Jagannath Temple, a day after the Supreme Court allowed Odisha to hold the seven-day chariot festival in a restricted fashion amid India’s fight against coronavirus.

Media reports say a huge crowd was seen outside the iconic temple – decorated for the occasion – as they took part in the colourful procession and the priests took the idol of Lord Balabhadra to a chariot. The temple complex was sanitised before the rituals began.

Some sevayats (people who perform the ritual services) played traditional musical instruments and danced to the beats as others carried the idol to the chariot.