Magnificent Rath Yatra Commences in Puri, Orissa

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The world-famous Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra, and Lord Sudarshan commenced in the holy town of Puri this evening. The Grand Trunk Road transformed into a sea of devotees as the three grand chariots began their sacred journey.

President Droupadi Murmu graced the occasion by performing the parikrama of the chariots and paying her respects to the deities. Thousands of devotees enthusiastically pulled the giant chariots from the 12th-century Jagannath Temple towards the Gundicha Temple, located approximately 2.5 kilometers away.

The festival signifies the Holy Trinity’s journey to their maternal aunt, Goddess Gundicha, and concludes with their return after eight days. Our correspondent on the scene reported that the divine journey commenced with an elaborate royal ritual known as ‘Dhadi Pahandi,’ accompanied by the rhythmic beating of traditional instruments like the ghanta, kahali, and telingi.

The chariot pulling began after Puri Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati performed the Chhera Pahanra, a ritual that involves sweeping the chariot decks with a golden broom. As per tradition, the chariots were pulled a short distance before sunset and will resume their journey tomorrow. While traditionally a single-day event, this year’s Rath Yatra has been extended to two days due to special configurations.

The air was filled with devotion and excitement as pilgrims from around the world gathered to witness and participate in this grand event. The Rath Yatra, steeped in rich history and tradition, continues to be a symbol of cultural and spiritual significance, drawing millions of devotees to Puri every year.

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