The Orissa High Court, on Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021, rejected five petitions that sought permissions to hold the festival of Rath yatra in Kendrapara and Bargarh districts in the light of the pandemic. The petitions were filed by the servitors of the Sidhha Baladevjew temple in Kendrapara district as well as the one in Bhatli area of Bargarh seeking a direction to the Orissa government to permit the festival with participation of only servitors.
The Rath yatra will be held on July 12th, 2021 only in Puri keeping in mind the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court and the yatra has been banned in all the other places of the state by the state government. Complying with the order of the SC, the state has directed that each of the three chariots would be pulled by not more than 500 people who are required to produce a COVID-19 negative report.
Deba Snana Purnima, during which Lord Jagannath and his siblings are bathed with 108 pitchers of aromatic and herbal water, marks the prelude to the Rath Yatra.
Ahead of the Yatra, the temples in Puri were illuminated on Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021 after several weeks of closure due to the COVID_19 pandemic. Instead of physical attendance in the Yatra, the event of Deba Snana will be live-streamed across the world.