World famous Rath Yatra begins in Odisha amid chants of Jai Jagannath

Bhubaneswar: World-famous Rath Yatra began on Sunday in Puri with the triad — Lord Jagannath and his siblings Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra — ascending on their respective chariots in a grand ceremonial procession amid chants of “Jai Jagannath”.

In the Phandi ritual, the deities are brought from the temple to their respective chariots.

As per the tradition, the celestial weapon of Lord Krishna, Sudarshan Chakra is brought and placed in the chariot of Goddess Subhadra followed by Balabhadra, Subhadra and finally Lord Jagannath.

After the pahandi ritual, Puri Gajapti Maharaj DibyaSingh Deb offers prayers to the deities and conducts the ceremonial sweeping of the chariots with a golden broom.

Later, the chariots are pulled by the devotees to Gundicha temple, the birthplace and garden house of Lord Jagannath, around 3km away from the main temple.

Lakhs of devotees thronged the holy city of Puri to have a glimpse of Lord Jagannath, elder brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra and pull their chariots ‘Nandighosh’, ‘Taladhwaja’ and ‘Darpadalan’ respectively. The devotees filled with pure devotion are chanting the holy name of ‘Jai Jagannath’, ‘Hari Bol’ and dancing in ecstasy.

President Droupadi Murmu, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Odisha Governor Raghubar Das, and Chief Minister Mohan Charan Majhi, among other dignitaries, are in Puri to witness the sacred chariot festival.

The Odisha Police have put in place elaborate security and traffic arrangements for the smooth conduct of the grand annual festival.

“We have made elaborate security arrangements and divided police teams into many segments such as crowd control and regulation, traffic and parking related matters. President Murmu is also visiting Puri so special arrangements have been made,” said Pinak Mishra, the District Superintendent of Police, Puri.

Mishra said two control rooms have been established in the city, one to keep vigil on traffic arrangements and the other to deal with any eventuality.

The Rath Yatra is unique this time as Netra Utsav, Nabajoubana Darshan and Rath Yatra are falling on the same day today after 53 years.

Earlier in the day, President Murmu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and CM Majhi extended wishes to the people on the occasion.


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