This is the second consecutive time that the Rath Yatra in Puri is being held without the general devotees due to the prevailing pandemic.
The chariot pulling is scheduled to start in the afternoon today after the gajapati maharaja Dibyasingha Deb performs the rituals of “Chhera pahanra” leading to the deities adorning their respective Raths.
The Raths, which are customarily pulled by thousands of devotees in the presence of lakhs of others, will this time be pulled only by the servitors, that too only those who have been tested negative for covid-19 in view of public health.
About 8000 people that include the servitors, security and media personnel and district administration officials have already undergone RT-PCR test in order to partake of this mega festival.
As an anti- congregation measure, which also is in sync with anti- covid measure, has been clamped in the holy city of Puri.
Even as the annual rathyatra is being held under the shadow of the pandemic, devotees can however have their soulful darshan of Lord Sri Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra as their grand chariots, named as Nandighosa, Taladhwaja and Darpadalana, roll down majestically along the Grand Road from Sri Jagannath temple to Shri Gundicha Temple.