Rath Yatra: No devotees allowed in Puri during Dakshina Moda rituals

Puri : The three chariots of the deities of Jagannath Temple that were parked outside Gundicha Temple after Rath Yatra, were on Sunday turned around as a sign of preparation for the upcoming Bahuda Yatra (return car festival).

During the Rath Yatra, Lord Jagannath travelled on Nandighosha, Lord Balabhadra on Taladhwaja and Subhadra on Debadalana chariots to the Gundicha Temple, as per the mythological beliefs.

As devotees were not allowed due to COVID-19 crisis and last minute order of the Supreme court, limited servitors pulled the three chariots and parked them at Saradha Bali, Puri, facing the entrance of the visiting temple.

On the sixth day of the festival and the day following the Hera Panchami rituals, the chariots are turned around to face the Jagannath Temple.

"This is a special occasion of Rath Yatra festival. On the previous day, servitors of Goddess Lakshmi broke a part of the chariot during Hera Panchami. Finding this out, servitors of the holy Trinity ensured that the upcoming return journey should be safe," said Madhav Chandra Pujapanda, a servitor.

The parts of the chariots are oiled and checked for fittings and then turned towards the Jagannath Temple one after another.

The first chariot to be turned around towards southern direction facing Jagannath Temple was the Debadalana of Subhadra following which Balabhadra and Jagannath's chariots were turned, as per the ritual.

"We always begin auspicious ceremonies with Goddess Subhadra's blessings and so her chariot was the first to be rotated," said Madhab Chandra Pujapanda, member, Sri Jagannath temple managing committee.

The festival of Rath Yatra that began on June 23 and will conclude on July 4 after a series of ceremonies such as Bahuda Yatra on July 1, Sunabesha on July 2, Adharpana on July 3 and the Niladri Bije on July 4.

During these ceremonies, no devotee will be allowed. Only the servitors, police and media persons will be allowed who will be tested negative for COVID-19. 

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