No shobhayatra at Poddareshwar,Nagpur

Ram Janmotsav Shobhayatra

Nagpur: Though the government has allowed public gatherings and revoked all Covid restrictions, the Ram Navami shobhayatras, one of Nagpur’s unique identities, will largely be missed this year too.

While the older and bigger shobhayatra of Poddareshwar temple stands cancelled this year, the vibrant and colourful procession in West Nagpur will be a low-key affair with only six floats. Organizers of both the processions told TOI that they hardly got any time to prepare.

“We are happy that the restrictions are lifted after two years. Pashchim Nagpur Nagarik Sangh will take out shobhayatra this year. The South Central Zone Cultural Center (SCZCC) is preparing this year’s lead float which will be a replica of proposed Ram Mandir in Ayodhya,” said president of the group Ravi Waghmare. Apart from SCZCC, five big business houses in the city have sponsored five other floats in the shobhayatra. Instead of five to six band parties, only two — ‘Suyog Band’ and ‘Babulgaon sandhal’ — will participate in West Nagpur’s shobhayatra.

“We appeal citizens not to distribute refreshments or cold drinks during the procession this year. Such distribution requires proper permission from police. We should not take any risk as Covid is not completely diminished,” said secretary Rajiv Kalele.

West Nagpur’s procession will start from Ram Mandir in Ram Nagar at 5.30pm on Sunday. It will cover Bajiprabhu Chowk, Laxmi Bhuvan, Zenda Chowk, Shankar Nagar, Bajaj Nagar, Laxmi Nagar, Shraddhanand Peth, Abhyankar Nagar, Gandhi, Nagar and conclude at the Ram Mandir by 10.30pm.

On the other hand, Poddareshwar temple, which will be celebrating its centenary year and completing 100 years on Ram Navmi in 2023, has decided to suspend the shobhayatra this year too. “Preparations for our procession start at least two months in advance. This year, we could not start preparations at right time due to Covid restrictions. So, we decided not to take out procession this year too,” said Ramkrishna Poddar, managing trustee of the temple. All religious events are under way at the temple in traditional manner. He also informed that the trust is planning grand celebrations of 100th year of temple and the coming year will be a memorable one.

shobhayatras are not only cultural treat, but they boost the economy too. Experts in the field of float-making and event management told TOI that more than Rs20 crore turnover is witnessed during this event. Many professionals and artistes get their biggest assignment of the year during shobhayatras. The float costs anything between Rs50,000 to Rs4 lakh and more than 50 floats participate together in the two shobhayatras every year.
Post Covid Ram Navami

Poddareshwar Mandir shobhayatra cancelled for third time

Religious events under way in temple as per tradition

Procession in West Nagpur to be a low-key affair with six floats

Organizers have appealed people not to distribute refreshments, cold drinks

Only two band parties, select vehicles, and regulated participants allowed