Puri: Puri Gajapati Dibya Singha Dev said Tuesday that he can’t express his ‘chhera pahara’ (sweeping of the chariots) experience in words. When asked about his experience of Rath Yatra sans devotees he said, “It is very difficult for Lord Jagannath to celebrate his grand Rath Yatra festival without his beloved devotees.”
Dev thanked all the devotees within and outside the state for abiding by the Odisha government’s directive of not congregating at the ‘Bada Danda’ in view of the risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The past events related to Rath Yatra were a test for the devotees of Lord Jagannath. We devotees passed the test for which we are being blessed with the opportunity to witness the three deities on chariots,” said Dev.
The Supreme Court had issued a stay order on Rath Yatra June 18. But after considering various PILs filed by several individuals and organisations, the top court bench said Monday that the annual Puri Rath Yatra can be conducted but with certain restrictions. A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde gave the order.
Accordingly the Odisha government took measures to conduct the Rath Yatra festival sans devotees. Curfew has been clamped here from Monday 9.00pm till Wednesday 2.00pm.