Jagannath Rath Yatra begins Thursday; Home Minister Amit Shah offers prayers
Thousands of devotees arrived in Puri for the nine-day annual Jagannath Rath Yatra.
Ahmedabad /Puri: The annual Jagannath Rath Yatra began on Thursday morning. Union Home Minister Amit Shah and his wife Sonal Shah offered prayers at the 450-year-old Jagannath Temple in Gujarat's Ahmedabad during the Mangal Aarti, ahead of the annual Gujarat Jagannath Rath Yatra.
Shah later took to Twitter to share images:
The Gujarat Jagannath Rath Yatra coincides with Rath Yatra in Odisha's Puri.
Rath Yatra, also known as the 'chariot festival', marks the annual journey of the three deities – Nandighosa (Lord Jagannath), Taladwaja (Lord Balabhadra) and Darpadalan (Devi Subhadra) – from the 12th century Jagannath temple to the temple of Devi Gundicha, their aunt. The deities are placed in three giant wooden chariots which are pulled by devotees. The celebration will end with Bahuda Yatra or the return journey of the three deities back to their temple.
श्री जगन्नाथ रथयात्रा के पवित्र अवसर पर समस्त देशवासियों को हार्दिक शुभकामनाएँ।
महाप्रभु जगन्नाथ सभी के जीवन में सुख, समृद्धि और सौभाग्य लाये।
ପବିତ୍ର ରଥଯାତ୍ରା ଅବସରରେ ସମସ୍ତଙ୍କୁ ହାର୍ଦ୍ଦିକ ଶୁଭକାମନା l ମହାପ୍ରଭୁ ଶ୍ରୀଜଗନ୍ନାଥଙ୍କର ଆଶୀର୍ବାଦ ଆମ୍ଭ ସମସ୍ତଙ୍କ ଉପରେ ସଦାସର୍ବଦା ରହିଥାଉ
ଜୟ ଜଗନ୍ନାଥ pic.twitter.com/2iXx4DIXoQ — Amit Shah (@AmitShah) July 4, 2019
The Jagannath Rath Yatra attracts over a million Hindu pilgrims from all over the country in Odisha. While Gujarat Jagannath Rath Yatra is counted among the most important and largest after the Ratha Yatra at Puri. Thousands of devotees arrived in Puri for the nine-day annual chariot festival. Three majestic chariots for the three Gods have been kept ready in front of the 12th century shrine. The devotees will pull the chariots across 2.5 km distance. Elaborate security arrangement is in place for the smooth and peaceful conduct of the festival. Over 10,000 police personnel have been deployed while CCTV cameras have been installed on the grand road for the security of devotees, said police.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will inaugurate the Kolkata ISKCON Rathayatra. Newly elected Trinamool MP Nusrat Jahan is likely to participate in the inauguration ceremony on Thursday.