The 144th annual rath yatra of Lord Jagannath began in Gujarat's Ahmedabad city on Monday morning, but it was devoid of the usual festive fervour and crowds due to the curfew imposed on its route to bar people from taking part in it in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead of the usual cavalcade of around 100 trucks, decked up elephants, akhadas and singing troupes, this year's procession consisted of only three chariots, pulled by nearly 100 youths from the Khalasi community, and four to five other vehicles.
As the Rath Yatra began in Odisha, a two-day curfew has been imposed and a total of 65 platoons of police force have been deployed across the city, informed Narasingha Bhol, IGP Northern Range.
According to the Administrator of Puri Jagannath Temple, Ajaya Jena, the servitors testing negative for Covid-19 would be allowed to participate in the pulling of the chariots.
The annual Rath Yatra of Lord Shree Jagannath in Puri is being held this year and servitors who have received vaccine shots and have tested negative for COVID-19 will be allowed to attend rituals.
This will be the second year in a row when the devotees will not be allowed to attend the celebrations due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, this hasn't stopped the nation from celebrating the day virtually. Hindus are using social media to reach out to their fellow brethren, wishing and greeting each other on this auspicious day.
Have a look.
With inputs from ANI.