Bhawanipatna: The annual Chhatar Yatra of presiding deity Manikeswari began at the shrine of the Goddess in Bhawanipatna town of Kalahandi district amid Covid-19 restrictions in the wee hours of Wednesday.
However, prohibitory orders under Section 144 have been clamped starting from 8.00 PM Tuesday till 4.00 PM Wednesday.
To effectively prevent any untoward law and order situation during the ritual, all entry points to the town have been sealed and 10 platoons of force deployed.
In order to contain any probable spread of Covid-19 infection, the procession of Manikeswari was taken out sans devotees this year.
“We have deployed senior police officials in all parts of Bhawanipatna town to keep strict vigil and also urge local denizens not to indulge in any animal sacrifice,” Kalahandi SP Saravana Vivek M said.
It pertinent to mention here, as per the shrine’s age-old tradition, Goddess Manikeswari is taken out of her abode on the eighth day of Shukla Pakshya (Ashtami Tithi) in the month of Ashwina every year.
The presiding deity is taken to Jenakhala located on the outskirts of Bhawanipatna at midnight following the Shodasa Puja rituals.