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Supreme Court allows Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra with restrictions, no public allowed  
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Supreme Court allows Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra with restrictions, no public allowed  

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 22 Jun 2020, 11:51 am

New Delhi/Puri: The Supreme Court on Monday agreed that the iconic Lord Jagannath Yatra will be held in Odisha's Puri town with restrictions.

The verdict was given by a  three-judge bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra.  

As per the SC order, the temple committee will organise the yatra in coordination with state and central governments, without compromising the safety and health of the participants. No public participation will be allowed in the yatra, reports India Today.

The apex court made the observation at a time when the country is under lockdown due to COVID-19 outbreak.

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik tweeted: " Jai Jagannath."

Puri King Gajapati Divyasingh Dev on Sunday urged Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to approach the Supreme court for partial modification of its order and permit the  Rath Yatra only at Puri.  

The SC last week stayed the annual Rath Yatra in Odisha's Puri fearing the further spread of pandemic Novel Coronavirus.

The occasion was scheduled to be held on May 23.

In a major relaxation in Unlock 1 which commenced on Jun 1, the central government has allowed the reopening of all religious places from 8th of the same month.

The religious places were shut since the first phase of anti-Covid lockdown which began on Mar 24 midnight.

What is Rath Yatra?

This Chariot Festival is an annual ritual of states like Odisha and Jharkhand which  involve a public procession with a wooden chariot having deities Jagannath (Vishnu avatar), Balabhadra (his brother), Subhadra (his sister) and Sudarshana Chakra (his weapon).

Thousands of people flock to Odisha during this time to join the procession at Puri and get a glimpse of the chariot of Jagannath.

 The Rathas are huge wheeled wooden structures, which are built anew every year and are pulled by the devotees.

In Puri, the chariot for Jagannath is approximately 45 feet high and 35 feet square and takes about two months to construct.

The artists and painters of Puri decorate the cars and paint flower petals and other designs on the wheels, the wood-carved charioteer and horses, and the inverted lotuses on the wall behind the throne.

 The huge chariots of Jagannath pulled during Rath Yatra is the etymological origin of the English word Juggernaut. The Ratha-Yatra is also termed as the Shri Gundicha yatra.