Gateway To Heaven From Puri Closed Due To Corona Spread, Salvation Stalled!

By D N Siingh While the claws of the deadly Coronavirus has made lives difficult to live, it doesn’t even spare the people to have the peace after the deaths. 

While the claws of the deadly Coronavirus has made lives difficult to live, it doesn’t even spare the people to have the peace after the deaths. 

It is a timeless belief that, if, after death, someone is cremated at the  Swagadwar  in Puri, then his or her soul gets the Divine blessings to merge with the cosmos and rest in peace. 

Puri’s ‘Swargadwar’ (gateway to heaven) is a sacred cremation ground on the shores of the Bay of Bengal where thousands of bodies are brought by the relatives for the cremation. It is not only from many parts of Odisha but, even people from the neighboring states bring the deceased relatives to Swargadwar travelling hundreds of kms and the specific reason being salvation.

However, now Puri turning to be a Covid hotspot, the district administration has imposed a blanket ban of bodies for cremation at Swargadwar except the ones from Puri only.

Which has obviously sparked an emotional outburst among many who repose their faith in the tradition.    

Swargadwar’s history can be traced to centuries although it was given a enclosure few decades back. But it has been going on cutting across regions and languages.

The abrupt decision by the Puri District Magistrate has obviously blown some dust and political parties have found a space here. None other than the Bharatiya Janata Party has alleged the decision as draconian and monopolistic in essence allowing only people of Puri to get cremated here while people from other than Puri have been reduced to pariahs.

It was a step ahead taken by the Congress. The party feels that, a non-Odia officer (Puri DM) cannot realize the inner sentiments of the people and the order should be withdrawn.     


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