Rath Yatra to begin today in Puri, Odisha

Fri 01 Jul 2022, 10:50:51
The world famous Rath Yatra will begin today at Puri in Odisha. Thousands of devotees from across the country have arrived in the temple town. The enthusiasm among the devotees is clearly visible across Odisha as the nine-day annual Rath Yatra of Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Lord Jagannath will be held with full public participation after two years. 

The devotees were denied entry into the holy town during the festival in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Authorities expect a large gathering of about 10 lakhs on the occasion of Rath Yatra as the people are allowed to participate in the festival after a gap of two years.

Heavy security arrangements have been put in place to ensure the smooth conduct of the Rath Yatra. More than 180 platoons of armed police personnel, including 1,000 officers of various ranks are deployed in and around Puri. Around 50 CCTV cameras are fitted in Grand Road and other places in Puri to ensure safe conduct of the festival.

After a long wait of two years due to the pandemic, Sri Jagannath devotees from near and far have thronged Srikhetra- the holy city of Puri to savour a divine darshan of the Rath-borneTrinity. Tens of thousands of devotees are all agog to be a part of the annual sojourn of the Trinity-  Lord Balabhadra, Lord Sri Jagannath and Devi Subhadra- who are out on a 9 days' visit to the Sri Gundicha Temple- a couple of kilometres away from the Sri Jagannath Temple. Its the sheer zeal and jest

of  the devotees, either to pull the chariots along the Badadaanda- the Grand Road or at least to have an eyeful of  the trinity atop the Raths while they are enroute, explains the surging crowd in Puri during the Rath Yatra. Given the heavy rush,  while senior police officers are camping in Puri to oversee the security arrangements, about 180 platoons of police force have been deployed to ensure a safe and secure Rath Yatra. On the other hand, consequent upon the incremental surge in COVID cases in the state, presently burdened with more than seven hundred active cases, the state health department has made mask mandatory in Puri for the visitors.

President Ram Nath Kovind has greeted people on the occasion of Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath. In a tweet, Mr Kovind wished that with the blessings of Mahaprabhu Jagannath, there will be happiness, peace and prosperity in everyone's life.

Greeting people on Rath Yatra, Home Minister Amit Shah said,  Jagannath Rath Yatra is an unique confluence of faith and devotion.
He prayed to Mahaprabhu Jagannath for healthy life, prosperity and happiness for all.

Conveying best wishes on the commencement of Shri Jagannath Rath Yatra, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Singh Thakur hoped that there will happiness, peace and prosperity in everyone's life with the blessings of the divine trinity of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra.

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