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Puri: In a First, Rath Yatra Rituals Completed Ahead of Schedule; Lord Jagannath Begins 9-day Procession

News18

Last Updated: July 01, 2022, 23:15 IST

Puri Rath Yatra: Chariots of Lord Jagannath and his divine siblings Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra along with Chakraraj Sudarshan rolled for the nine-day Ratha Jatra festival in Puri. (Image: News18)

Puri Rath Yatra: Chariots of Lord Jagannath and his divine siblings Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra along with Chakraraj Sudarshan rolled for the nine-day Ratha Jatra festival in Puri. (Image: News18)

The participation of devotees in the Rath Yatra has been allowed this year after a gap of two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions

In a record, the pulling of the chariots of Lord Jagannath and his divine siblings Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra along with Chakraraj Sudarshan during the Ratha Jatra was completed four hours ahead of schedule. The Pahandi’ or the ceremonial procession of the deities began at 6 AM and ended at 9. The world-famous rath yatra was held smoothly due to seamless coordination between the servitors and the administration.

Lakhs of devotees gathered in Puri after a gap of two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Odisha government made top-notch arrangements to ensure smooth conduct of the festival.

()Bada Danda was filled with a sea of devotees for the yatra of the deities on the chariots. The three chariots of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Devi Subhadra arrived at ‘Saradhabali’ in front of Gundicha temple located on the north-eastern end of the Grand Road or Bada Danda. A sea of devotees thronged the Bada Danda to pull the three chariots from Singhadwara to their destination, the Gundhicha Temple.

Lord Balabhadra’s chariot ‘Taladhwaj’ was the first to reach the Gundicha temple followed by Devi Subhadra’s ‘Darpadalana’ or ‘Debadalana’ chariot. Lord Jagannath’s Nandighosha chariot reached their aunt’s abode at 6:30 pm. The rituals like ‘Mangala Alati’, ‘Abakash’, ‘Sakala Dhoopa’ and ‘Mangalarpan’ were also completed much before the schedule.

All the rituals including the Pahandis; Chhera Panhara, a ritual in which Puri’s titular king Gajapati Maharaja Dibyasingha Deb sweeps the chariots with a golden broom; and pulling of chariots were completed well ahead of the scheduled time. Puri Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati along with his selected disciples offered prayers to the deities on the chariots as per tradition.

The participation of devotees in the Rath Yatra has been allowed this year after a gap of two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.

Daitapati Nijog Secretary, Ram Krushna Dasmohaptra said, “It is a record in the history of Rath Yatra”, for such early conclusion of rituals. With the proper coordination between servitors, Puri district administration and Temple administration it could be possible to conduct the world-famous Rath Yatra smoothly amidst such a large congregation.”

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik along with Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Governor Ganeshi Lal, Assembly speaker Bikram Keshari Arukha, 5T Secretary V K Pandian visited Puri offered prayers and pulled the chariot of Lord Jagannath’s ‘Nandighosha’.

Prior to the event, the Chief Minister reviewed the progress of the Srimandir Parikrama Project. The project also aims to build amenities and infrastructure for devotees coming to Puri in the future for the darshan.

State Food Supply and Consumer Welfare Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak said, “after a gap of two years, devotees took part in Rath Yatra. It is the happiest moment for all to see the nine-day Ratha Yatra festival.”

Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra said, “all are cooperating for the smooth conduct of world famous festival. It is being possible due to proper coordination. I thank the people for their support and coordination for the grand conduct of Rath Yatra.”

Senior officials of the Shri Jagannath Temple Administration, servitors, district administration, police, other security forces, fire personnel, and other stakeholders have thanked people for their support and coordination for the grand conduct of Rath Yatra.

(Inputs from Akshay Mishra and Dipak Samal)

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first published:July 01, 2022, 23:15 IST
last updated:July 01, 2022, 23:15 IST