Srimandir Chief Servitor urges to carry out scaled-down Ratha Jatra amid COVID-19 lockdown

Puri: In view of COVID-19 pandemic, Chief servitor of Srimandir has proposed to carry out a scaled-down Ratha Jatra of Lord Jagannath in Puri this year.

Expressing his concern over the situation arising out of COVID-19 across the state, Janardan Pattajoshi Mohapatra suggested that Ratha Jatra if organised this year amid lockdown should be a low-key event as per the tradition.

In a letter to Shankaracharya Nischalananda Saraswati of Govardhan Peeth, Puri, he wrote, “In a situation if a lockdown were to persist during the period up to the day of Ratha Jatra, then we would like to submit that the Ratha Jatra must still be performed for the important reason that the Ratha Jatra constitutes not just a festive procession, but an important and unmissable ritual/event.”

The servitors’ body of Lord Jagannath assume that lockdowon could be in place during the days of Ratha Jatra, which is scheduled on June 24, 2020.

The Chief servitor of Lord Jagannath proposed Shankaracharya that the rituals of Ratha Jatra should be performed by the servitors after they undergo medical tests and isolation as part of preventive measure to ensure that the event is conducted without any risk of spreading the deadly virus.

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