Mayapur: This year the annual Jagannath Rath Yatra will be a scaled-down affair at the Headquarters of International Society for Krishna Consciousness ( ISKCON) in Mayapur in wake of ensuring the safety of the people, informed Subroto Dasa, Media Communications Head, ISKCON Mayapur.
This year there will be only one tableau ( Rath) on which all three deities – Jagannath, Baladev, Subhadra will be placed, unlike every year when three huge Raths used to carry each deity separately.
A team of 50 persons that will comprise of devotees who will render direct sewa to the deities like carrying deities to Rath, pulling the cart, preparing Chappan Bhoga for Jagannath, offering Prasadam, making garlands, decorating the deities will be allowed.
All the sacred ceremonies and rituals will be observed by the pujaris as mentioned in the scriptures. The movement of the Rath will only be restricted inside the ISKCON Mayapur campus and no travellers will be allowed to participate.
The Gundicha temple, where Jagannath stays for 9 days is being made inside the Sri Chandradaya Temple hall The community devotees are encouraged to participate in the festivities via online platforms said Vraja Vilas Dasa, Co-director of ISKCON Mayapur.
During His stay at the Gundicha, people in a bunch of 40 will be allowed to have darshan after passing through thermal scanning at the security gate outside the main temple hall.
In pre – Covid times, ISKCON Mayapur Rath Yatra used to draw more than 1.5 lakh people from all over the world, more than 5000 people used to be fed Jagannath Mahaprasadam, free of cost, each day for all 9 consecutive days and a large Gundicha temple was constructed at the Ganga ghat.