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Juggernaut On Move

Puri: Amid chants of Hari Bol and Jai Jagannath, pulling of Chariots of Lord Jagannath and his siblings Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra began as per the schedule. With the pulling of three chariots, Juggernaut started rolling here.

As the chariots started moving on the Grand Road here, the holy Trinity started their nine-day journey to Sri Gundicha temple.

Puri Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati accompanied by his disciples and servitors offered prayers to the deities on their respective chariots.

Following this ritual, Gajapati Maharaja of Puri, Dibyasingh Deb arrived in his royal palanquin and carried out the Chhera Panhara ritual, the ceremonial sweeping of the chariots with a golden broom, amid chanting of hymns by the priests.

All rituals, starting from Pahandi Bije of the Trinity, to Chhera Panhara of the annual Rath Jatra completed by the scheduled time and in a very high spiritual atmosphere.  Lakhs of devotees are present at the Grand Road to witness the mega cultural festival.  

Adorned with tahias (giant floral crowns), chants of  Hari Bol and Jai Jagannath, the three deities along with Lord Sudarsan were brought out of the sanctum sanctorum in the Dhadi Pahandi procession to their chariots parked before Srimandir.

As soon as Lord Jagannath came out of the Singhadwar (main gate of the temple) in Pahandi swinging his giant tihia, devotees chanted religious hymns while Hari Bol, Jai Jagannath and Huluhuli rented the air.

In spite of the heat and humidity, lakhs of devotees congregated at Grand Road here to take part in the world-famous Rath Yatra. Frenzied devotees tried to get a glimpse of what is regarded as a holy occasion by most Hindus, especially Vaishnavites.

The entire stretch of the Grand Road transformed into an ocean of humanity.

Pulling of the three gigantic chariots by the servitors started around 4.30 pm. Taladhwaja of Lord Balabhadra was pulled first followed by Darpadalana of Devi Subhadra and Nandighosa of Lord Jagannath.

President Droupadi Murmu, Odisha Governor Raghubar Das, Chief Minister Mohan Charan Majhi, former CM Naveen Patnaik, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan are here to witness the Rath Jatra.

Besides, several State Ministers, MLAs and opposition party leaders also visited Puri today.

More than 180 platoons of police personnel are deployed in and around Puri to ensure safe conduct of the festival. The police made special arrangements for smooth flow of traffic and the President’s visit.