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Chariots Reach Destination

Puri: The chariots of Lord Jagannath and his siblings Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra reached Saradhabali near Shree Gundicha temple as per the scheduled time. All the three holy chariots reached Saradhabali in Puri around 2.30 pm. 

Amid Haribol and Jai Jagannth chanting, Lord Balabhadra’s chariot, Taladhwaja, first reached Gundicha temple followed by Devi Subhadra’s Darpadalana. At the end, Lord Jagannath’s chariot Nandighosa reached the destination.

The Trinity will be taken to the Adap Mandap of the Gundicha Temple in Pahandi ritual on 9 July morning.

Braving the humidity, lakhs of devotees pulled the chariots of Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Lord Jagannath for two days, yesterday and today. The pilgrim town is set to witness a huge influx of devotees on Sunday and Monday for darshan of the Trinity on the chariots.

The entire stretch of the Grand Road transformed into an ocean of humanity against the backdrop of three colourful chariots and flower decorated temple.

This year’s Rath Jatra was unique and rare as multiple rituals including Netra Utsav and Nabajouban darshan of the deities were conducted on the same day.

Tight security arrangements have been put in place, with the deployment of 180 platoons (one platoon comprises 30 personnel) of security personnel, a police officer said.

Artificial Intelligence-based CCTV cameras have been installed at Badadanda, the venue of the festival, and other strategic locations in the pilgrim town, he said.

Despite heavy deployment of police force, one person died and several others injured during the chariot pulling yesterday. However, no incident was reported today.

Chief Minister Mohan Charan Majhi has expressed deep grief over the death of Lalit Bagarti, a devotee of Saintala area in Balangir district due to the heavy rush during chariot pulling in Puri last evening.

The Chief Minister has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh for the next of kin of the deceased. Shri Majhi expressed his condolences to the bereaved family. He ordered the best medical care free of cost to the injured devotees.