The annual rath yatra of Lord Jagannath began today in different parts of the country. In Odisha, the world famous Rath Yatra in the coastal city of Puri began this morning at 12th century Jagannath temple.
Rath Yatra marks the annual journey of Lord Jagannath, his brother Lord Balbhadra and sister Subhadra to the Gundicha temple. The celebration ends nine days later with Bahuda Yatra or return journey to their temple which will take place on the 14th of this month.
Since the deities will appear for public, the day is very special and attract devotees to the pilgrim city. Servitors will bring the idol of the Lords out of the temple in a ceremonial procession and place in the chariots parked outside the temple.
Subsequently, they will pull the chariots that are the highlights of the entire Yatra. Currently the rituals of Lords are going on inside the temple. The administration is expecting about 10 lakh people to take part in the chariot festival. Multi-layer security arrangements have been made for the smooth conduct of the festival.
The second oldest Rath Yatra in the country is held at Mahesh in Serampore, West Bengal. A large number of people have assembled to have a share in pulling the long ropes attached to the chariots of three deities from the Mahesh temple to Gundicha Bari.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has greeted people on the occasion of Rath Yatra. In a tweet, Mr Modi hoped that Lord Jagannath continue to shower his blessings on everyone and his blessings will lead to development of villages, well-being of poor and farmers and take India to new heights of progress.