Puri: Unlike last year when Chandan Yatra of Lord Jagannath and siblings in Puri was celebrated inside Srimandir, it will be celebrated as per custom this year amid COVID-19 guidelines. This was decided at a meeting held Thursday under the chairmanship of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) chief administrator Krishan Kumar.
It was also decided that the 42-day long ritual starting May 15 will be held with strict adherence to COVID protocols, the SJTA informed adding that it will take steps for procurement of masks and sanitisers for servitors and temple staff who will take part in Chandan Yatra as well as in Snana Yatra and Rath Yatra.
Notably, the Chandan Yatra of Lord Jagannath and his siblings begins from Akshaya Tritiya. This year it is scheduled May 15.
Last year, the festival was held inside the temple owing to the pandemic-induced nationwide lockdown.
The festival is observed in two phases. While the first half of the ritual is called Bahara Chandan and is held outside the temple, the second half is known as Bhitar Chandan and it is celebrated inside the temple. They are of equal duration – 21 days each.
Notably, the Jagannath temple is presently out of bounds for visitors amid COVID-19 outbreak.