PURI: A holy flag atop the Jagannath temple in Odisha's Puri caught fire when a grand lamp was being placed near it, officials said on Friday.
The incident took place when the 'Mahadeepa' or the lamp was being placed atop the 12th-century shrine by the servitors on Thursday night on the occasion of 'Papanashini Ekadashi', temple officials said.
The 'Mahadeepa' is placed atop the temple on special occasions, they said, adding the incident took place because of gusty winds.
However, the main flag was safe and the flame engulfed a smaller flag tied to the 'Neelachakra below' the principal 'Bana', sources said.
The fire was put out by the servitors promptly and the rituals of the temple were not affected because of the incident, they said.
The Jagannath temple has been closed for devotees till April 1 as a precautionary measure in view of the coronavirus outbreak.
A government official in Bhubaneswar said that nine samples were tested on Friday for COVID-19 and all of them were found to be negative.