134th edition of Jagannath Rathyatra rolls out on July 3

134th edition of Jagannath Rathyatra rolls out on July 3

"The Rathyatra over the years has emerged as a symbol of communal harmony drawing participation from all sects and reflects the true Indian culture in spirit," said Mahendra Jha, a trustee of Jagannath mandir trust.

The procession this year is set to be a memorable one as it will be for the first time that a local priest, Mahant Dilipdas Maharaj (37), will preside over the Lord's historic journey, temple officials said.

As per tradition, elephants will have the first glimpse of Lord Jagannath and would lead the procession through different parts of the city, he said.

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi would perform the symbolic cleaning of the chariots of
Lord Jagannath, Lord Balram and their sister Subhadra, besides the roads on which they will start their journey from the temple, he said.

As many as 19 decorated elephants will take part in the procession, besides 98 trucks with tableau displaying facets of Indian culture, and three specially-decked chariots of the three deities will be pulled by approximately 1,000 devotees.

The 14-km route of the procession will pass through communally sensitive localities in the city like Kalupur, Prem Darwaja, Delhi Chakla, Dariyapur and Shahpur.

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