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Sea of humanity at St Mary's car festival

Bangalore, Sept 8, 2013, DHNS: 2:02 IST
Thousands of devotees witness the car procession on the last day of the St Mary's feast at  St Mary's Basilica in Shivajinagar on Sunday. dh photo/B H Shivakumar
The St Mary’s feast culminated with a car procession through the major thoroughfares of Shivajinagar on Sunday. Lakhs of people braved the rain to witness the deity of Mother Mary taken out in the procession.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah inaugurated the procession and Archbishop of Bangalore Bernard Moras blessed the chariot.

Siddaramaiah addressed the gathering and spoke about the importance of viewing all religions equally.

Home Minister K J George and MLA Roshan Baig were also present on the occasion.

‘Clad in saffron’

After the nine-day long Novena, people clad in saffron clothes gathered at the shrine to offer prayers and celebrate the birth of Mother Mary. Devotees from across the country had come to seek blessings. Many of them spent a good part of the day on pavements, waiting for the four-km-long procession to begin.

“Despite the rain and the crowd, it was worth catching a glimpse of the procession. I was lucky enough to get a chance to pull the chariot. I will wait and watch the procession till the flag is lowered, signifying the end of the feast,” said a devotee who had travelled from Chennai for the feast.

Strict vigil

Police kept a strict vigil and ensured that people maintained calm during the procession.

Around 450 traffic and civil policemen were deployed, along with 50 traffic wardens, to regulate traffic.
Buses to Shivajinagar bus stand were suspended from 4 pm.

A sub-inspector who was on duty at the shrine said that the department had planned to regulate traffic and deploy police personnel sectorwise to avoid untoward incidents.

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