PURI: The final phase of Durga Puja commenced in Sri Jagannath temple on Tuesday, October 12, (Saptami) and Wednesday, October 13, (Mahastami) amid strict Covid-19 protocols. Servitors performed Sodasha Upachar Puja of the deities without the presence of any devotee due to the restrictions. Shola Puja was also performed at Bimala temple situated on the South-East side of Srimandir. Meanwhile, idols of Goddess Goshani were installed at pandals at two dozen places in Puri town. The idols with names like Jahni Khai, Kakudi Khai, Baseli and Bankimuhan Ramchandi - all considered incarnations of Goddess Durga - were worshipped at various Jaga Ghars.
Like the previous year, the height of idols was reduced to four feet. Devotees were not allowed at puja pandals and priests performed rituals of the deities. Usually every year after Dashami, all the idols of Goshani and Chandi across the town converge in front of Simhadwar of Sri Jagannath temple for darshan of devotees before immersion. However, for the last two years, the show has been cancelled due to the prevailing Covid-19 situation. As per the order of the Orissa High Court, only seven persons will carry each idol for immersion without music and light.