Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], June 23 (ANI): Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday virtually attended Jagannath Rath Yatra from his office in Bhubaneswar.
He also released the special Ratha Jatra issue of Utkal Prasanga, a magazine of the state government.
The Chief Minister also extended greetings on the occasion of Rath Yatra and seeks God's blessings for COVID free World.
"As the Rath Yatra Festival begins, greetings and best wishes to the fellow citizens, I hope the world gets free from deadly Coronavirus, my Lord Jagannath guide us on the path of Peace, Prosperity and Unity," Patnaik tweeted.
On the occasion of the holy rath yatra, Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal also prays to the Lord for victory in the battle of the human race against Karona.
The annual Jagannath Rath Yatra commenced on Tuesday in Puri without devotees, amid the coronavirus pandemic and a curfew in Puri.
The city had started preparations since Monday night after the Supreme Court modified its earlier order and allowed the festival to be held but with restrictions.
The Yatra celebrates the annual journey of Lord Jagannath and his two siblings from the 12th-century Jagannath Temple to Gundicha Temple their aunt's home, some 2.5 kilometres away.
The event began today with the priests gathered at the Jagannath temple to carry the idols of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and sister Subhadra to the chariots.
The Supreme Court had on Monday allowed the annual Yatra to be held with the coordination of the Temple committee, State and Central government without compromising with the health issue pertaining to COVID-19. The court had earlier put a stay on the Yatra.
Following the apex court's order, sanitisation was conducted at the temple and the grand road where the yatra takes place. The authorities are broadcasting the Rath Yatra as no devotee is permitted to attend the same and not more than 500 people were allowed to pull chariots and social distancing has to be maintained.
To contain the spread of COVID-19, the state has imposed restriction of movement starting from Monday 9 pm to Wednesday 2 pm.
While Odisha is celebrating the Rath Yatra festival, the celebration was restricted to the temple premises in Gujarat and Kolkata as per the Supreme Court's orders. (ANI)