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Lord Jagannath returns home, shrine devoid of devotees

5/07/2020 at 12:36 PM

Puri, June 5: The rare Rath Yatra of 2020 sans devotees due to Covid-19 pandemic concluded on Saturday with the Trinity returning to the sanctum sanctorum of Srimandir here in a special ritual called Niladri Bije.

Niladri Bije marked the concluding ritual of the nine-day sojourn of Lord Jagannath and his siblings.

The historic car festival rituals commenced on June 23 as the Trinity embarked upon a nine-day sojourn to Shree Gundicha Temple. The return journey called Bahuda Yatra was held on July 1. The Suna Besha ritual was performed on July 2 decorating the Trinity with golden jewellery on their chariots parked in front of the Singhadwara.

The deities were served a special beverage (pana) on Friday following a ritual called Adhara Pana.

During Niladri Bije ritual Goddess Laxmi shutdown the temple gate barring Lord Jagannath to enter into the temple. She was angry because the Lord has not taken her along with him on the sojourn. Finally, Lord Jagannath appeased her by serving Rasgolla. Then he was allowed inside the temple by the Goddess.

Today is the first day the Trinity in the temple. however, no devotees were allowed inside the temple complex following restrictions imposed by the district administration due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The administration not only prohibited entry of devotees into the temple complex, it has also imposed restriction on the journey of people inside the pilgrim town.

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