Lakhs witness Rath Yatra

Mega-religious event in Puri peaceful and incident-free

Lakhs witness Rath Yatra

 The spectacular annual religious event took off on Wednesday morning with the traditional “Pahandi Bije” or shifting of the three presiding deities of the Puri temple — Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra —from the sanctum sanctorum to the three wooden chariots parked on  “Bada Danda” or  Grand Road in front of the main Puri temple.

Soon after the “Pahandi Bije,” other rituals followed, which included the famous “Chera Panhura” (the symbolic sweeping of the floors of the three chariots with a golden broom) by Dibyasingha Dev, the Gajapati Maharaja of Puri. This ritual conveys a message to the world that all, including the king, are the Lord’s servants.

After the rituals, the chariots of Jagannath Balabahdra and Subhadra began their journey towards Sri Gundicha Temple. The chariots were pulled by devotees, priests and security personnel. The three deities will hav e a seven-day sojourn at the Sri Gundicha temple, considered to be their birthplace. The deities will be taken back to the main shrine a week later, which is known the “Bahuda Yatra.” The “Bahuda Yatra” will be celebrated on July 2.

Event peaceful

The event was by and large peaceful and incident-free. However, the Puri temple administration and the state government had made adequate security arrangements for the maintenance of law and order during the festival. Nearly 81 platoons of security personnel were deployed in the town.  

On the occasion of the Rath Yatra, the sand artist Sudarsan Patnaik created colourful sand replicas of Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra on the Puri sea beach, which turned out to be a major attraction for the visitors. The world famous sand artist dedicated his creation to the three deities, appealing to them to save the people from the menace of global warming.

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