Puri: The Jagannath temple in Puri will remain closed for the devotees till July 25 in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting by the temple managing committee presided over by the Chief Administrator, Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Krishan Kumar on Wednesday.
Speaking to the media after the meeting, Kumar said keeping in mind the ensuing Deba Snana Yatra and Rath Yatra which attract large crowd, it has been unanimously decided that the temple will remain closed till July 25.
“It will be our utmost priority to ensure smooth conduct of the Rath Yatra with strict adherence to COVID-19 guidelines of the state government. While the Rath Yatra will be held from July 12 to 23, the Niladri Bije of the Trinity will be held on July 23. In the meantime, if the rate of COVID infection comes down, we will have a meeting either on July 24 or 25 and take a decision on the reopening of temple,” he added.
To a question on the schedule for the rituals of the deities from Snana Yatra to Niladri Bije, he said the schedule has been discussed in the previous meetings. “We will have a meeting with the Chhattisha Nijog in a couple of days for approval of the schedule,” he pointed out.
Kumar further said like previous year, Snana Yatra and Rath Yatra this year will also be held sans devotees.