Visakhapatnam: A large number of devotees gathered at Rath Yatra celebrations that began in Vizag city on Thursday in concurrence with the festivities of Jagannath Rath Yatra at Puri in Odisha. They drew the chariot amidst kirtan, music and chanting of “Jai Jagannath”.
Utkal Sanskrutika Samaj celebrated Rath Yatra on Thursday when the idols of Lord Jagannath, Devi Subhadra and Lord Balarama taken out in a colourful chariot from the main temple at Dasapalla Hills to the Gundicha Temple at Lawsons Bay Colony.
In the afternoon, the idols were taken out from sanctum sanctorum to the chariot in a ritual called Pahandi Bije after the traditional Chhera Pahanra (cleansing of the chariot) by Lal Saheb Pramod Bhanja Deo of Dasapalla royalty.
The Rath Yatra started from International Society for Krishna Consciousness' (Iskcon) temple at Sagar Nagar on the Old Jail Road on Thursday evening. Passing through Daba Gardens, Jagadamba Junction, Waltair Main Road and Siripuram, it reached Gurjada Kalakshetram.
Bhajan, kirtan, nadaswaram, kolatam and prasadam distribution were done throughout the procession.
The highlight of this year were the four chariots that rolled on the streets of Vizag for Lord Jagannath, Baladev and Subhadra along with Srila Prabhupada in single procession.
The authorities of 185-year old Sri Jagannath temple at Old Town Area also celebrated the procession from Town Kotharoad to Turner’s Choultry.
State tourism minister Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao and other YSRC Congress leaders participated in yatra along with devotees.
Other than these three processions, Rath Yatra was celebrated by Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) with traditional fervour in Ukkunagaram. Donning traditional costume, company chief P.K. Rath invited Lord Jagannath to the chariot on the occasion.
He also performed chherapanhara, the sweeping of the chariot with golden broom.
A large number of devotees pulled the chariot along the streets of Ukkunagaram. Bhajans and dance troupes performed along the route....