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Waterlogging hits celebration at Iskcon temple in Odisha

BHUBANESWAR: The annual Rath Yatra of the Trinity was celebrated in several localities of the state capital with great fanfare even as waterlogging on the service road of NH-16 at Nayapalli after a heavy downpour disrupted the festivities at Iskcon temple for at least 30 minutes on Sunday.

After the ceremonial ‘Pahandi bije’ ritual, ‘Chhera Pahanra’ on the three chariots of the Trinity was performed at Iskcon temple. However, the pulling of chariots was delayed due to waterlogging on the road stretch in front of the temple.

Devotees gathered outside the temple to pull the chariots were seen wading through waist-deep water. Several bikes parked along the service road were also submerged in the storm water overflowing on the road. The water even reached to the elevated surface of the temple where the three chariots were parked.

“The water receded around 15 to 20 minutes after the rain following which the chariot pulling was started,” said a temple official. However, several devotees lamented the sorry state of affairs, especially on a day like Rath Yatra. They demanded prompt measures by the government to prevent such a situation during the festival next year.

Sources in the Met office said the city received around 52.6 mm rainfall between 8.30 am and 5.30 pm on the day.

Apart from Iskcon temple, Rath Yatra was celebrated at 62 places including Dumduma, Baramunda, Patia, Old Town, OUAT, Vani Vihar and Unit-V where devotees pulled the chariots amid blowing of conchs and beating of gongs.

At Shrivani Kshetra in KISS, founder Achyuta Samanta performed the ‘Chhera Pahanra’ ritual and the chariot of Devi Subhadra was pulled by women devotees only. More than 50,000 devotees joined the festival, said KISS officials.

Similarly, Ardhendu Mohapatra of Cosmopolis Jagannath temple said, “As the weather was pleasant, hundreds of residents took part in the Rath Yatra in our society. The festival is an occasion which binds us all together.”

Bhubaneswar DCP Prateek Singh said Rath Yatra was celebrated at around 63 places in the city. The celebrations remained smooth at all the places. Around 20 platoons of police were deployed for the car festival.

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