Odisha govt bans Kanwar yatra due to Covid-19

The Odisha government on Saturday decided not to allow ‘Kanwar Yatra’ or ‘Bol Bom’ devotees to offer prayers at Shiva temples across the state, to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Pradeep Jena said no ‘Bol Bom’ devotees or Kanwariyas will be allowed to congregate, carry water from water bodies and walk on public roads to pour water on Shiva Lingas.

In the month of Sharavan (July/August), people carry water from a religious place, walk barefoot for several miles and put water in some Shiva temples on each Monday of the month.

The ‘Bol Bom’ devotees usually start their journey on Saturday/Sunday/Monday by collecting water from one religious place and walk till next Monday morning and pour the collected water on a Shiva Linga, said the SRC.

Notably, the state government has ordered that all religious places or places of worship will continue to remain closed for the public and all social, political and religious functions and congregations are prohibited till July 31.

Meanwhile, Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) on Saturday declared shutdown in its jurisdiction till July 8 midnight to contain the spread of COVID-19.

All the non-essential shops will remain closed. However, all the essential shops like grocery, vegetable and milk shops will remain open from 5 a.m., to 6 p.m.