Puri: Lord Jagannath and His divine siblings riding holy chariots reached the Gundicha Temple today.
Hundreds of servitors wearing masks and maintaining social distancing norms along with security personnel pulled the three chariots up to Gundicha Temple.
Following Pahandi and Chhera Panhara rituals, the chariot pulling began at 12:05 PM. The chariot of Lord Balabhadra, Taladhwaja reached the god’s aunt’s place first. The chariot of Devi Subhadra, Darpadalan reached Gundicha Temple thereafter. Lastly, the chariot of Lord Jagannath, Nandighosa arrived at his aunt’s place.
As per the Supreme Court’s directive, only 500 people including servitors pulled each chariot during the Ratha Jatra. The number servitors atop the chariots was also limited 10.
Following the direction of the apex court, the Ratha Jatra was held without devotees in view of prevailing COVID-19 situation.
The Holy Trinity will be taken to the ‘Janma Bedi’ or Adapa Mandapa inside the Gundicha Temple tomorrow.
A minor mishap was reported during the Ratha Jatra when a servitor, Babuli Das Mohapatra sustained minor injuries after falling off the Taladhwaja chariot.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik thanked the people of Puri, Shree Jagannath Temple Administration, servitors, Health department, police and the district administration for their cooperation to ensure completion of the Gundicha Jatra without any issues.
The Chief Minister paid obeisance to the deities while watching live telecast of the annual fete on the TV.
“In the absence of general devotees, the world famous Shree Gundicha Jatra in Puri was successfully performed today by the extraordinary seba performed by Shreemandira Sevaks, the efficient arrangements made by the State Government and Temple Administration within a very short time and the cooperation of all devotees, especially in Puri Town. My sincere felicitations to one and all who made this unique event a success,” said Puri Gajapati Maharaja Dibyasingha Deb.