Bhubaneswar, Jul 13 (PTI) In view of the prevailing COVID-19 situation in Odisha, the state government Tuesday announced a ban on the religious activities and congregations of 'Kaudias' or 'Bol Bom' devotees.
The 'Bol Bom' devotees are not allowed to collect water from rivers, ponds, and other water bodies and walk on any public road to offer it to the deity at any Shiva temple during the Odia month of Shravan (July/August), 2021, an order issued by the Chief Secretary said.
The decision was taken after an assessment of the COVID-19 situation, the order said.
This is for the second year when the state government prohibited the 'Bol Bom Jatra' with the possibility of a third wave of COVID-19 looming large this time.
During the annual pilgrimage, the 'Kaudias' walk barefoot in groups chanting 'Bol Bom' to consecrate the holy water.
The devotees start their barefoot journey to the Shiva temples on Saturday and Sunday to offer the holy water at Shiva shrines every Monday in the month of 'Shravan'.
The government has already prohibited religious functions and other gatherings till July 16, 2021. All religious places are also closed for the general public. PTI AAM MM MM