When the court gave its nod to conduct the festival with certain restrictions, it came as a huge relief for devotees.
As per tradition, His ‘Goti Pahandi’ was obstructed by His consort Goddess Mahalaxmi as She was annoyed at being left behind in the temple.
Servitors placed nine large open-mouthed barrelshaped clay pitchers the drink before the three deities on their respective chariots. The barrels reached up to the lips of the Trinity.
All the rituals and chariot pulling will be conducted by the servitors who have been tested for Covid-19 and found negative.
Two spots have been identified outside Gundicha temple where the Supakaras would open extended delivery counters.
With the ongoing Rath Yatra festival in focus, the Government has decided to launch the mass testing of people in the temple city of Puri from Saturday.
They will also sensitise them about the safety guidelines of novel coronavirus.
Doordarshan YouTube channel garnered over 1 million viewership
For the millions of devotees in Odisha and across the world, the glimpse of the Trinity during the live streaming of the entire rituals and procession, was enough succour and solace.
The state government has imposed a 41-hour shutdown in the entire Puri district for the pulling of chariots and tight security arrangements have been made for smooth conduct of the festival.
Samples of servitors were collected in three phases and sent to Regional Medical Research Centre and Institutes of Life Sciences, Bhubaneswar for tests.
The DGP also said that more than 50 platoons (one platoon has 30 personnel) of police force are being deployed for the security management of the nine-day festival.
The Puri district administration held a preparatory meeting for the historic event and different departments were directed to keep their apparatus ready for the festival.
Servitors say there is no such precedent in the temple’s history
State BJP president Samir Mohanty also urged the Chief Minister to act as per the advise of Puri Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati and Gajapati Maharaja Dibyasingh Deb.