Priests perform 'Jal Yatra' of Lord Jagannath in Ahmedabad amidst lockdown

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Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], June 5 (ANI): The annual 'Jal Yatra' of Lord Jagannath was held here at Jagannath Temple in Ahmedabad amid the COVID-19 lockdown on Friday. Priests of the temple performed the first ceremony of the annual Jal Yatra, which involves drawing water from the Sabarmati river and carrying it on the back of elephants to perform 'abhishek' of the deities at the temple. Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel was present during the religious ceremony. Only the trustees of the temple and priests were allowed inside the temple in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, in Odisha, on the occasion of Deva Snana Purnima, Lord Jagannath embarked on his annual 'Snana Yatra' in Puri's Jagannath Temple on Friday, in the absence of the usual throng of thousands of devotees, due to the COVID-19 lockdown. For the first time, the bathing rituals began with no worshippers at the temple during the annual Snana Poornima festival. According to the District Magistrate of Puri, no devotees have been allowed at the festival. "Once a year at Jagannath temple, Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra are seated on an altar in the Snana Mandap. They are bathed with 108 pitchers of scented water, from a golden well of Srimandir, while hymns are read. The Gajapati Maharaja and his representatives perform Cherapahara rituals," said Sarat Kumar Mohanty, a scholar and priest at the temple in Puri. (ANI)