Puri: The celebration of annual Rath Yatra of lord Jagannath his elder Balabhadra and sister devi Subhadra came to an end today with Niladri bije.
The deities after observance of Sunavesha on Tuesday, offering of Adharpana on Thursday and Rosogulla bhog on their respective chariots today were escorted into the Garbhagruha of Srimandir in Pahandi procession.
For the second successive year the grand event was organised without participation of devotees.
The Festival was organised with strict enforcement of standard operating procedure (SOP) issued by the state government to contain the spread of corona virus and to continue the age-old tradition of the Jagannath temple.
Early this morning priests began day's nitee with Mangal arati, Mailum, Tadaplagi, Abakash, then Gopal bhog was offered. At noon Madhyahna dhup was offered.
Bahuda Pahandi began at about 5 PM with Ramakrushna, Madan Mohan followed by Sudarshan, Balabhadra, devi Subhadra and in the end lord Jagannath at about 7.45 PM.
Administration has created a bio-bubble for the carpenters engaged in chariot construction yard. It took about 55 days to construct the chariots.
This apart over ten thousand servitors, temple officials, police personnel and scribes had undergone covid-19 test in four phases and only those found Covid negative were allowed to participate in the festival.
As per the Apex court directive five hundred servitors were engaged in pulling of each chariots.
As many as 65 platoons of police personnel besides five hundred officers of various ranks were deployed. Entire Badadanda the venue of the fete was put under curfew while rest of the town was under sec.144.
All roads leading to Puri and city lanes to Badadanda were sealed. CCTV and drone cameras were covering the entitled Badadanda.
Simhadwar police booked at least twenty persons who breached the curfew and managed to enter into Rath cordon. They were issued notices to explain their presence in the prohibited zone.
Police also sealed a hotel for violating the curfew allowing devotees to watch festival proceedings from the roof violating the government directive.
It was a tough time for fire tender units to flood the 3km long Badadanda and spray water on the barefoot servitors while pulling the chariots under scorching heat of Sun.
Gajapati Dibyasingh Deb the foremost servitors of the lord completed fifty years of his chherapahanra service this year.
From tomorrow onwards regular rituals would resume with offering of cooked bhog to deities.
First day bhog is popular as Nilachal Abhada. Since temple is closed for devotees administration in consultations with Suar and Mahasuar nijog had made arrangements to provide Nilachal abhada to devotees at the South and West gates of the temple.
For that devotees have to pay in advance for the quantity and items and get the token. After offering Mahaprasad would be provided to them as per their order a temple official said. (UNI)