Lord Jagannath rathyatra passes off peacefully amid fervour
Ahmedabad: The 137th edition of Lord Jagannath`s rathyatra passed off peacefully amid tight security with lakhs of devotees thronging roads to catch a glimpse of the deity in a colourful procession wherein Prime Minister Narendra Modi dominated the theme of various tableaux.
The colourful procession comprised 18 decorated elephants, 98 trucks mounted with tableaux depicting Indian culture, besides three aesthetically designed chariots of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balram and their sister Subhadra.
The yatra passed through communally sensitive areas of Kalupur, Dariyapur and Shahpur, which had witnessed communal violence in the past.
The tableaux were dominated by the theme of impressive victory of Modi, the son-of-the-soil, as prime minister. While a tableau showed Modi`s massive win, another one showed him giving a speech from the replica of Red Fort and yet another marked his swearing-in ceremony with the SAARC leaders. Modi was also described as "Bheeshm Pitamah" of modern India in one of the themes.
Earlier in the day, Modi tweeted his best wishes for the yatra and remembered that he as the chief minister held the record to perform `Pahind Vidhi` ((symbolic cleaning of road before the start of the yatra) of rath yatra for 12 times. "As Gujarat CM, I had the honour to perform the Pahind Vidhi ritual during the Yatra in Ahmedabad. It is an experience I really cherished," Modi said in one of his tweets.
For the first time, a woman Chief Minister, Anandi Patel performed the `pahind vidhi` this morning at the 400-year-old Lord Jagannath temple from where the chariots commenced their sojourn.
The incident-free rathyatras in last one decade have emerged as a symbol of communal harmony here, with active participation of people from all the communities. The event is now being celebrated more as `Lokotsav` of Gujarat. The procession, amid chants of `Jai Ranchhod Makhan Chor`, was greeted by local leaders of minority community in the sensitive areas it passed through, with elaborate security arrangements in place.
Members of minority community near Limdi Chowk in Dariapur area of the city welcomed the juggernaut with passion and fervour.
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