The 139th rath yatra of Lord Jagannath today commenced on it’s 15km journey in the walled city here amid tight security arrangements even as lakhs of devotees queued up to have a glimpse of the deity.
The chariots of the Lord Jagannath, his brother Balbhadra and sister Subhadra, commenced their journey from the 400-year-old Jagannath temple in Jamalpur after Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel performed ‘Pahind Vidhi’- a symbolic ritual of cleaning way for the ‘raths’ (chariots).
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BJP chief Amit Shah visited the temple at around 4am and took part in the ‘Mangla Aarti’. The procession of rath yatra comprise 18 decorated elephants, 101 trucks, around 30 religious congregations and around 20 singing troupes. It will move through some communally sensitive areas like Jamalpur, Kalupur, Shahpur and Dariyapur.
The total length of rath yatra procession stretches up to 1.5km. It will return to the temple after almost 11 hours of journey. Elaborate security arrangements have been made by police department to avoid any unwarranted situation.
Gujarat Minister of State for Home Rajni Patel was present at the temple to supervise the arrangements. “Though we have not received any specific terror input, such large events are always on the target of anti-social elements. Thus, we have deployed large number of police and para-military personnel to ensure safety and security of citizens,” Patel said.