World Famous Rath Yatra Kicks Off In Puri

Bhubaneswar: Lakhs of devotees thronged the Bada Danda (Grand Road) of Puri on Thursday to witness the Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhada and Devi Subhadra during their 9-day annual sojourn.

After the consecration of the three chariots—Darpadalana of Devi Subhadra, Taladhwaja of Lord Balabhadra and Nandighosa of Lord Jagannath—the pahandi (procession) of the deities began at 9.30 am as the Daitapati sevayats brought Lord Sudarshan on their shoulder to the Darpadalana chariot of Devi Subhadra. The sevayats later brought Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Lord Jagannath.

As per the schedule, the pahandi rituals will be completed by 12.30 pm. This will be followed by the Madan Mohan Bije ritual (12.30 pm to 1 pm), Chita Lagi and Besha Sesha (1.30 pm to 2.30 pm), Chhera Panhara by Gajapati Maharaja Dibyasingh Deb (2 pm to 3 pm).

The pulling of the chariots will begin at 4 pm after the sevayats remove the wooden ladder (charamala) attached to the three chariots between 3 pm and 4 pm.

For the smooth conduct of the festival, elaborate security arrangements have been made with the deployment of 10,000 policemen, 142 platoons of force, Rapid Action Force (RAF), Counter Terrorist Squad, Quick Action Team, 12 commandants, 37 additional SPs, 85 DSPs, 775 Inspectors and Sub-Inspectors. The security is monitored by the two senior officers in the rank of Additional Director General (ADG) who are assisted by five officers in the rank of Inspector General (IG). Apart from this, the Coast Guard personnel have been deployed along the beach.

In case of any untoward incident, the NDRF and the ODRAF teams have been pressed into duty.

To monitor the movement of the crowd, the entire area of Puri town has been kept under the CCTV watch from the integrated control room at the Town Police Station.

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