Puri (Odisha) [India], June 24 (ANI): The Jagannath temple in Odisha's Puri was illuminated on Wednesday evening ahead of the Snana Purnima. The gates of the 11th century temple will open on June 25 after several weeks of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Due to the pandemic, the day will be observed without the physical presence of thousands of devotees. Instead, the festival will be live-streamed for devotees across the world. Only fully vaccinated people with COVID negative report to be allowed in the temple, Chief Administrator of the temple Dr Krishan Kumar informed.
"There will be no gathering outside the temple has Sec 144 will be enforced by district administration. We'll just follow traditional rituals. After this, Lord Jagannath will take rest for 15 days and reappear during Rath Yatra," Kumar said.
Public movement has been prohibited from 10 PM and several police vehicles are patrolling the area.
According to Samarth Varma, District Magistrate of Puri, Pahandi rituals will start around 1 am and Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra will reach the Snana mandap.
"Once in a year, God comes outside so that people of other religions can get 'darshan'. So lakhs of people gathered every year outside the temple every year. This year, however, the thousand-year ritual will be performed witnessed virtually," Varma said. (ANI)