Chhatar Jatra to be held sans devotees in Odisha; animal sacrifice banned

Bhawanipatna: In view of steep spike in COVID-19 cases in Odisha, Kalahandi district administration decided to conduct famous Chhatar Jatra under restrictions to prevent congregation and spread of the infections.

As decided at a meeting held today, the festival of Goddess Manikeswari will be conducted without devotees this year due to COVID-19 pandemic.

As per the decision, no devotee will be allowed to enter into the temple nor to take part in rituals during the event. Also, the animal sacrifice will be banned at the Manikeswari Temple on the occasion of Chhatar Jatra, which will be celebrated on October 24 this year.

It is to be mentioned that the district administration bans animal sacrifice during Chhatar Jatra of Goddess Manikeswari every year. However, devotees sacrifice hundreds of innocent animals to fulfil their wishes despite ban order.

During the religious event, a ceremonial chhatar of Goddess Manikeswari is taken out to a location on the outskirts of Bhawanipatna from the temple in the morning following performance of secret rituals. The return journey of the Chhatar to the temple is known as Chhatar Jatra.

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