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Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra to begin in Puri, Odisha today

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The most awaited biggest annual festival of Rath Yatra or Chariot Festival at Puri commences shortly. This is one of the most awaited Hindu festivals in the country and the world.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has greeted people on the occasion of annual festival of Rath Yatra at Puri today. In a tweet, Mr Modi said, as the country celebrate this sacred occasion, may the divine journey of Lord Jagannath fill people’s lives with health, happiness and spiritual enrichment.

The famous festival, usually celebrated in June-July, begins when Lord Jagannath and his two siblings – elder brother Lord Balabhadra and younger sister Devi Subhadra are ready to give darshan to the public in Raths and visit Gundicha Temple.

The deities enjoy a nine days stay in Gundicha Temple. The three majestic chariots are ready and parked in front of the Singha Dwar of Jagannath Temple, facing East towards Gundicha Temple. Lakhs of devotees will pull the chariots.

Currently, the rituals of the Lords are going on inside the temple. Since the deities will appear to the public, the day is extraordinary, attracting devotees to the pilgrim city.

The Puri Shree Mandir Administration expects about 13 lakh people to participate in the chariot festival. Multi-layer security arrangements have been made for the smooth conduct of the festival.

A total of 1 hundred forty-eight festivals are celebrated annually in the Puri Jagannath temple. They include twelve yatras, twenty-eight upayatras and 1 hundred eight festivals.

Of them, Rath Yatra is the most famous. As per the schedule of rituals, at around 3 pm, devotees will begin pulling the chariots.

The Yatra, which starts from the Puri temple, will conclude at Shree Gundicha temple, covering nearly a 3-kilometre distance. While Taladhwaja of Lord Balabhadra will roll on the Puri Grand Road, first, Darpadalana of Devi Subhadra will trail.

Lord Jagannath’s Nandighosha, the largest of the three chariots, will move after the two. It is expected the chariots will reach Gundicha Temple before sunset.

The deities will have a nine-day sojourn at the Gundicha temple. And they return to Shree Mandir only after completing the Yatra on the same chariots called ‘Bahuda Yatra’ or return car festival on 28th of this month.

Rath Yatra is the only day in the whole year when devotees of all religions can have an opportunity to see the Gods and Goddess of the Jagannath Puri temple. Apart from India, this festival attracts a large number of international tourists to Puri.

Lord Jagannath’s 146th Ratha Yatra will circumambulate the city today in Ahmedabad.

Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah performed Mangala Aarti at Lord Jagannath temple in Ahmedabad early this morning. State Minister of State for Home Affairs Harsh Sanghvi also joined him.

This time, after 72 years, all three 6-wheeled chariots have been newly made at a cost of 85 lakh rupees. Following the Rath Yatra, strict security arrangements have been made on the entire yatra route.

18 Bhajan Choirs, 3 Bands, Sadhu Saints, and 1200 mariners will also join the Ratha Yatra. 30 thousand kg of mug, 500 kg of jambu, 500 kg of mango and 400 kg of cucumber will be distributed on the way of Rath Yatra.

After attending the Rath Yatra, Union Home Minister Amit Shah will attend various developmental programs in Ahmedabad.

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