Cuttack soaks in festive spirit on Rath Yatra

CUTTACK: The Millennium City soaked in festive fervour as people celebrated Rath Yatra with traditional pomp and gaiety on Sunday.

Devotees in large numbers thronged different Jagannath temples to take part in the annual sojourn of the Trinity. As usual, huge footfall of devotees was witnessed at the Jagannath temple at Chandni Chowk and Patitapaban temple at Dolamundai.

The rituals at the two biggest Jagannath temples of the city were performed on time and devotees pulled the decorated chariots of Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Lord Jagannath with much fanfare to the Gundicha temple, said sources.

The Chandni Chowk temple was opened at 5.30 am and after necessary rituals like Mangala Alati, Mailam Lagi and Surya Puja, the Pahandi Bije was performed at around 11 am. The chariots were pulled towards the temporary Gundicha temple near Belleview Square at 3.30 pm. Similarly at Dolamundai, the temple opened at 5 am and after necessary rituals, the Pahandi Bije was completed by 11.30 am. Hundreds of devotees lined up for pulling the chariots which started at 4 pm.

As per the tradition, the chariots were pulled from Dolamundai to Seminary Chowk and back to Chandan Padia near Dolamundai where the Gundicha temple is located. The chariots of Devi Subhadra were exclusively pulled by women at Chandni Chowk and Dolamundai temples.

The Rath Yatra of Baladevjew temple at Ranihat was a major crowd puller too. The deities were installed in a single chariot. After collector Arindam Dakau performed the ‘Chhera Pahanra’ ritual at around 5 pm, the chariot was pulled through Ranihat, College Square and back to Ranihat Durga Mandap where the Gundicha temple is located.

Rath Yatra was also celebrated at Jobra Nua Sahi, Bidanasi Matha Sahi, Bidanasi Nua Sahi, Sankarpur, Mahanadi Vihar, Gatiroutpatana, Baranga, Nadia Gurudi, Urali, Pratap Nagari, Nuagarh, Balikuda, Kuranga Sashan, Choudwar, Padmapur, Kandarpur and several other places.

The Commissionerate Police made elaborate security arrangements in and around the city to ensure smooth conduct of the Rath Yatra. At least 17 platoons of police force were deployed for the festival.

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