Lord Jagannath, his elder brother Lord Balabhadra and sister Goddess Subhadra are currently seated on their respective chariots and will be carried inside the Shree Gundicha Temple in the evening.
A day after the chariots of Lord Jagannath and his celestial siblings were pulled in Puri in adherence to the Supreme Court guidelines, Odisha Police on Wednesday appealed to people not to visit the pilgrim town as “darshan” of the deities is not allowed.
Lord Jagannath, his elder brother Lord Balabhadra and sister Goddess Subhadra are currently seated on their respective chariots and will be carried inside the Shree Gundicha Temple in the evening. No one is allowed to congregate near the ‘raths’ and the temple. In order to avoid any congregation, restrictions have been imposed in some parts of the pilgrim town, the police said.
Odisha Director General of Police (DGP) Abhay said though the Puri district administration has withdrawn the curfew-like shutdown, some restrictions are still in force in a few areas.
“In view of curfew in some parts of Puri, all are requested to avoid going to Puri today. It is again reiterated that Darshan of Trinity for devotees is NOT allowed,” the DGP said in a tweet.
Meanwhile, Puri Collector Balwant Singh has said barring some areas in Puri town, the restrictions have been relaxed across the district. He said the restrictions will remain in force where the chariots are kept near the Sri Gundicha Temple.
It has been decided to continue the imposition of restrictions along the stretch from Badasankha to Matiapada bus stand in Puri town. However, there will be no restriction across the district, officials said.
The administration had earlier imposed a curfew from 9 pm on June 22 to 2 pm on June 24 to stop the entry of people and vehicles into the district during the mega festival, in accordance with a Supreme Court order.
In a message, Gajapati Maharaja of Puri Dibyasingha Deb has said: “In absence of general devotees, the world famous Shree Gundicha Jatra in Puri was successfully performed by the extraordinary ‘seba’ (service) of the ‘sreemandir sevaks’ (servitors), the efficient arrangements made by the state government and the temple administration within a very short time and the cooperation of all devotees, especially in Puri town.”
Chief Secretary A K Tripathy, who has been camping in Puri along with the DGP and other senior officers, also thanked the servitors for their dedicated service and the people of Puri for their discipline. All the three chariots of the Trinity (Lord Balabhadra, Lord Jagannath and Devi Subhadra) reached Shree Gundicha Temple before time, he said.
All arrangements were made within 12 hours of the Supreme Court allowing a conditional conduct of the Rath Yatra in Puri, Tripathy said, adding that hardly any elaborate preparations were made earlier due to the pandemic situation. The team could convince the people of Puri about the importance of discipline to be maintained during the Rath Yatra, he said.
ADGP (Law and Order) Soumendra Priyadarshi said the servitors’ determination to conduct the Rath Yatra in a disciplined manner and the local people’s cooperation helped in the smooth conduct of the festival.
“The chariot pulling was totally done by the servitors whose corona tests were performed earlier. No police personnel or administration officials joined the pulling of the chariots,” said Krishan Kumar, chief administrator of the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration.