Jagannath Rath Yatra in Puri begins amid coronavirus pandemic

Jagannath Rath Yatra is an annual procession in a chariot that takes place annually and is attended by lakhs of people from across the world in Odisha.

But this year's annual procession hit a major roadblock due to coronavirus pandemic and now instead of massive gatherings, Supreme Court has allowed only 500 sewaks to pull the grand chariot.

Take a look: 

Yatra during pandemic!

The annual Jagannath Rath Yatra in Puri district of Odisha has begun after the Centre moved the Supreme Court on Monday.

"The tradition of centuries may not be stopped," the Centre said, asking to allow the yatra without public participation. 

 

(Photograph:ANI)

History of Rath Yatra

According to mythology, the Ratha Yatra dates back some 5,000 years when Hindu god Krishna, along with his older brother Balaram and sister Subhadra, were pulled on a chariot from Kurukshetra to Vrindavana by Krishna's devotees. 

(Photograph:ANI)

Rules to be followed strictly

While the procession has been allowed, India's top court has made it clear that the court still holds the right to cancel/stop the procession at any given point if the court feels that rules are not being followed and/or the procession is getting out of hand.

(Photograph:ANI)

Sanitisation done before yatra

Health workers wearing PPE kits were seen spraying disinfection before the yatra began on Tuesday.

(Photograph:ANI)

Yatra elsewhere in India

Temple priests and Hindu devotees carry an idol of Lord Jagannath as a symbolic gesture after the Rath Yatra procession was cancelled amid concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 in Kolkata on Tuesday.

(Photograph:AFP)