Pulling Of Lord Lingaraj’s Rukuna Rath Starts In Old Town Of Bhubaneswar

OB Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Rukuna Rath started rolling as thousands of devotees turned up to participate in pulling the chariot of Lord Lingaraj on the occasion of Ashokastami in Old Town of Bhubaneswar on Tuesday evening.

The devotees from across the state thronged the Ratha Danda (chariot road) in Old Town to participate in the annual festival celebrated at Lingaraj temple.

As per the schedule, ‘Mangala Alati’ was performed at 5 am in the 11th century shrine, followed by ‘Abakasha’ and ‘Sahanamela’ rituals.

The bronze idols of ‘Chandrasekhar’ (representative idol of Lord Lingaraj), Devi Rukuna and Ananta Basudev were taken to the chariot in the ceremonial Pahandi (procession ritual of the deities from the temple to chariot) in the afternoon amid chanting of hymns, beating of drums and gongs and blowing of the conch.

After other rituals were performed, the pulling of chariot was started. With the slogans in praise of Lord Shiva ranting the air, the devotees pulled the chariot.

Though chariot pulling was scheduled to start at 3.30 pm, it was delayed due to some rituals. The Rath will be pulled along the 2-km Ratha Road to the Lord’s Mausima abode of Rameswar temple.

The temple administration and Commissionerate Police have made elaborate arrangements for smooth conduct of the car festival. While the vehicular movement on Ratha Road has been prohibited, traffic has been diverted on different routes in Old Town. Besides, arrangements for adequate water have been made in view of the heatwave in the city.

OB Bureau

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