Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra 2021: Date, Puja Timings, COVID protocol – All you need to know!

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New Delhi: The much-awaited and revered festival of Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra in the temple town of Puri, Odisha will begin from July 12 this year. All the preparations are in full swing, the administration is ready keeping the COVID protocol in place and safety measures too are taken care of. 

Ratha Yatra on Monday, July 12, 2021
Dwitiya Tithi Begins – 07:47 AM on Jul 11, 2021
Dwitiya Tithi Ends – 08:19 AM on Jul 12, 2021

(as per drikpanchang.com)

The 15-day long festival was celebrated with much gusto and fervour in Odisha, Bhubaneswar. The temple town of Puri attracts tourists from across the globe who visit the place, just to get a glimpse of the Lord and witness the majestic Rath Yatra. 

However, this year due to the deadly novel coronavirus COVID-19 second-wave outbreak, restrictions have been imposed.

According to the Administrator of Puri Jagannath Temple, Ajaya Jena, the servitors testing negative for COVID-19 would be allowed to participate in the pulling of the chariots. “Like last year this year also Rath Yatra will be held without devotees on July 12, 2021, as per the order of the Supreme Court and SOP issued by the Odisha Government. No devotees were allowed to participate in Rath Yatra. Chariot pullers who test RT-PCR negative and have been fully vaccinated will be permitted to attend the yatra. Around 1,000 officials excluding police personnel will be deployed,” Jena told ANI.

As per the Administrator, three thousand ‘sevayat’ (servitors) and 1000 temple officials will be allowed to perform all rituals and RTPCR tests are going on at four places at Puri since July 8. 

Rath Yatra is a festival associated with Lord Jagannath held at Puri annually in the state of Odisha.

Also known as the chariot festival, this year marks the 144th Rath Yatra of the Lord. The three chariots used to carry the Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra (sister) are different in size and other detailing. The chariots are beautifully and intrinsically designed and painted every year. 

Ratha Yatra commemorates Lord Jagannatha’s annual visit to Gundicha Mata temple. It is believed that in order to pay their respects to Queen Gundicha, wife of the legendary King Indradyumna, who built the Puri Jagannatha temple, Lord Jagannatha along with brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra leave their regular abode from the main temple and spend some time in this temple built by Gundicha in their honor.

As per drikpanchang.com, it is said that after the Lord Jagannath along with his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra take rest for 8 days at Gundicha Mata Temple, they set out on their return Jatra to the main abode. This day is known as Bahuda Yatra or Return Yatra, observed on the eighth day after Ratha Yatra on Dashami Tithi. On his return, the Lord also stops at Mausi Maa Temple which is dedicated to Goddess Ardhashini. 

Here’s wishing everyone a very happy Jagannath Yatra!

 





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