‘Jagannath rath yatra to be held in Ahmedabad on July 12 with curbs’

Ahmedabad, Jul 08 (PTI):
The Gujarat government on Thursday gave its nod for the 144th rath yatra of Lord Jagannath in Ahmedabad on July 12 with restricted participation and strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols and guidelines.
In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state government has made it clear that except for three chariots and two other vehicles, no other vehicle, singing troupes, akhadas, elephants or decorated trucks will be allowed during the procession this time. To stop people from gathering along the route for a glimpse of the deity, a curfew will be imposed on the entire yatra route from early morning till afternoon, Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja told reporters in the state capital Gandhinagar. Last year, only a symbolic rath yatra was organised in the premises of the Lord Jagannath temple in Jamalpur area here after the Gujarat High Court denied permission for the usual public procession in the wake of the pandemic. Traditionally, the procession, led by chariots, would start early at around 7 am from the 400-year-old temple and return by 8 pm.
Before the COVID-19 outbreak last year, lakhs of people used to gather along the route on ‘Ashadhi Beej’ every year to catch a glimpse of the decorated elephants and tableaux moving around in some 100 trucks.
The procession used to come back to the Lord Jagannath temple after covering a distance of 19 km in about 12 hours, which included an hour-long lunch break at Saraspur.

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