Puri: The Chandan Jatra of Lord Jagannath in Puri will be organised outside Srimandir this year with strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols.
The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Chief Administrator Krishan Kumar today.
The annual Chandan Jatra scheduled to start from Akshaya Tritiya i.e on May 15 will be celebrated outside the temple amidst COVID pandemic this year, the SJTA informed.
The SJTA will take steps for procurement of masks and sanitisers for use during Chandan Jatra, Snana Jatra and Ratha Jatra of Lord Jagannath.
Meanwhile, in view of rise in COVID cases in second wave of the pandemic, the Jagannath Temple is closed for devotees till May 15.
Last year, the Chandan Jatra was held inside the temple premises without devotees due to nationwide lockdown imposed to contain spread of COVID-19.
The rituals during the festival were performed by the servitors prohibiting the devotees to enter into the temple.
The 42-day-long Chandan Jatra starts on Akshaya Tritiya. The festival is held in two phases: Bahara Chandan and Bhitara Chandan. While the Bahara Chandan begins from Akshaya Tritiya for a period of 21 days outside the temple, the Bhitara Chandan continues for another 21 days inside the temple.