Puri Rath Yatra: Three Chariots Of Sibling Deities Reach Gundicha Temple

Puri: All the three chariots of sibling deities of Jagannath temple in Odisha’s Puri town were pulled by the devotees to their destination of Gundicha temple during Rath Yatra on Friday evening.

As expected, lakhs of devotees landed in the Pilgrim Town to participate in the Rath Yatra in the morning. The rituals of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra on the day were started at 3 am and completed ahead of schedule.

As per the tradition, ‘Pahandibije’ (grand procession of the deities from inside the temple to their chariots) began at 6.15 am amid blowing of conches, beating of cymbals and slogans in praise of the Lords. As the crowd jostled to have a glimpse of the grand spectacle and snatch a part of the Tahia (crown), the servitors carried the deities in the traditional manner. Finally, ‘Pahandibije’ was completed at 9.15 am as the three sibling deities took their seats in the chariots.

Then started the ritual of ‘Chhera Pahanra’ (sweeping the floors of the chariots). Puri king Gajapati Dibyasingha Deb performed the ritual of sweeping the chariots with a golden broom. With the completion of ‘Chhera Pahanra’, the devotees started pulling the chariots one by one on Badadanda (Grand Road) of the Pilgrim Town.

Several dignitaries including Governor Prof Ganeshi Lal, chief minister Naveen Patnaik and his Cabinet colleagues, Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan, OPCC president Sarat Patnaik and others participated in pulling the chariots. The public participation in chariot pulling was allowed this time after it was banned for the last 2 years due to COVID pandemic.

‘Taladhwaja’ chariot of Lord Balabhadra was the first to reach Gundicha temple, the destination of the sibling deities’ annual sojourn. Devi Subhadra’s ‘Darpadalan’ Rath was the next to reach the temple. ‘Nandighosh’ chariot of Lord Jagannath was the last to reach Gundicha temple at around 7 pm.

The first day of the Rath Yatra passed off without any major untoward incident with participation of an estimated 10 lakh devotees who came from across the country.

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