Puri: Chhera Pahanra ritual by Gajapati Maharaja Dibyasingha Deb has been an integral part of Snana Jatra festival of Lord Jagannath and his siblings in Odisha’s Puri. However, exception marked this year’s Snana Jatra as Gajapati Maharaja didn’t come to Snana Mandapa today for conducting the ritual.
Instead, his Mudiratha performed the ritual at the Snana Mandapa. Though confusion rose initially over the absence of Dibyasingha Deb in the festival, the Gajapati Maharaja later cleared the air.
“I decided to stay indoors in compliance with Government’s COVID-19 guidelines which restricts outdoor movement of persons above 65 years of age. As per tradition, Mudiratha can perform all rituals of Gajapati Maharaja in the latter’s absence,” he said.
“This is the second time I couldn’t perform the ritual on Snana Jatra. Earlier in 1976, I was unable to conduct it as I was in USA for my LLM course,” he added.