Following a safe and successful Rath Yatra with safety precautions, Bahuda Yatra, the return of Lord Jagannath back to the temple, has begun in Puri. While Odisha crossed the 7000-mark of COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, the biggest relief came for the Lord Jagannath’s devotees after all the servitors who will be engaged in the Bahuda Yatra today tested negative for the deadly virus.

Chief administrator of the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Krishan Kumar announced the news, adding that the test result details of the government officials, policemen and other staff that attended the Rath Yatra will be announced later.

“All the rituals of the festival have so far been completed on time and we hope tomorrow’s rituals will also be conducted smoothly,” Kumar told reporters yesterday, following a review meeting ahead of the Bahuda Yatra.

District collector Balwant Singh said all entry points to Puri have been closed and residents have been asked to stay indoors. However, even the Puri locals will have to watch the Bahuda Yatra on television.

Singh added that five to six places have been temporarily arranged to hold ‘Bhajans’ during the Bahuda Yatra, which is also known as the Return Car Festival of Lord Balabhadra, Lord Jagannath, and Devi Subhadra.