The Hindu festival of Rath Yatra began on Tuesday, one of the most important festivals in Odisha. Rath Yatra or the chariot procession was also observed in Ahmedabad, Gujarat and the members of the Muslim community could be seen welcoming the chariot. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has wished the citizens regarding the festival and President Droupadi Murmu who is from Odisha herself was observed offering prayers at a Jagannath temple in Delhi.
Rath Yatra In Puri
Reportedly the Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra took place on June 20 and the yatra will commence at 10:04 pm and will continue till 7:09 pm on June 21. It is also said that the yatra will be live telecasted on DD Bharati, DD Odia along with other Doordarshan channels and their official YouTube channel.
Reportedly the Odisha government officials have said that thousands of devotees are gathering at the seaside pilgrim town on Tuesday. Sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik created a sand art of two hundred fifty coconuts at Puri beach in advance of the Jagannath Rath Yatra in 2023.
According to reports, as many as 180 platoons of security forces are deployed in Puri and a Coast Guard helicopter has also been pressed into service for beach patrolling. Interceptor boats will be stationed at Paradip for any contingency, until July 2.
Priests, devotees take part in 'Pahandi' rituals in Odisha's Puri.
Rath Yatra In Gujarat
The Ratha Yatra festival celebrated in Ahmedabad is considered to be the second biggest Rath Yatra in the country. The procession will return to the temple by 8:30 pm on Tuesday after passing through the Old City, including some communally sensitive areas like Jamalpur, Kalupur, Shahpur and Dariyapur. Idols of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Devi Subhadra were installed on the chariot ahead of the start of the ceremonial Rath Yatra that commenced from the 400-year-old Jagannath Temple in Jamalpur area of Ahmedabad today.
The 146th Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath began on Tuesday morning in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, amid tight security as thousands of devotees flocked the 18-kilometer route to see the deity. The chariots of Lord Jagannath, Balbhadra, and Subhadra embarked on the yatra from the 400-year-old Jagannath Temple in the Jamalpur area after Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel performed 'Pahind Vidhi,' a symbolic ritual of cleaning the way for the chariots with a golden broom in the morning.
Celebrations of Rath Yatra were also observed in Kolkata, West Bengal. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee could be seen offering her prayers at a temple in Kolkata.
President offers prayers at Jagannath Temple in Delhi
President Droupadi Murmu offers prayers at Jagannath Mandir in Delhi in Hauz Khas, Delhi ahead of lord Jagannath Rath Yatra 2023.
On the occasion of Lord Jagannath's Rath Yatra, President Droupadi Murmu extended a warm welcome to the public and prayed for everyone's happiness, peace, and prosperity.
"On the occasion of the commencement of the Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath, I extend my heartiest congratulations and best wishes to all the countrymen, especially the devotees of Lord Jagannath. I pray to Mahaprabhu Jagannath that this festival of devotion and dedication brings happiness, peace and prosperity in everyone's life. Jai Jagannath," Murmu tweeted in Hindi and Odia.
PM Narendra Modi sends greetings
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent greetings to the Rath Yatra, which begins today in Puri, Odisha. Along with his tweet, the Prime Minister also included a video of him participating in a Rath Yatra procession. He says that Rath Yatra is celebrated in many states of the country in the video. He added, however, that the Rath Yatra in Puri is special on its own.
"Rath Yatra has become an identity of India throughout the world. It is celebrated in many states of the country. However, the Rath Yatra in Puri has an aura of its own," he said in the video.
When Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Gujarat, he used to take part in the Ahmedabad Rath Yatra. He talked about how he felt.
"When I was in Gujarat I used to participate in the Rath Yatra in Ahmedabad. In these Rath Yatras, it is amazing how people from every community come together for the festivities. This also strengthens the unity of the country," he said.