The famous Rath Yatra or chariot festival of Lord Jagannath has started today at Puri in Odisha amid tight security. Prime Minister Narendra Modi wished the nation on the occasion.
"On the occasion of Rath Yatra, my warmest greetings to you all. May Lord Jagannath continue to shower his blessings on everyone," he tweeted.
"May the blessings of Lord Jagannath lead to development of villages, well-being of poor & farmers and take India to new heights of progress," he added.Meanwhile,Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik extended his greetings and tweeted, "Heartfelt greetings on this joyous & most auspicious occasion of #RathaJatra. Jai Jagannath!"
On the occasion of Rath Yatra, my warmest greetings to you all. May Lord Jagannath continue to shower his blessings on everyone.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 6, 2016
I bow to the great Babu Jagjivan Ram ji on his Punya Tithi. He constantly worked for the welfare of the underprivileged & marginalised.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 6, 2016
The three gigantic colourfully decked up wooden chariots of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra are near the Jagannath temple to be pulled by ropes by thousands of devotees.
Rath Yatra is an annual celebration, marking the annual journey of the deities in chariots from the 12th century Jagannath Temple to the temple of Devi Gundicha, their aunt.
The celebration ends nine days later with the Bahuda Yatra or return journey to their temple, which will take place on 14 July.
Meanwhile, in Ahmedabad, the 139th edition of Lord Jagannath's Rath Yatra began on 6 July amid tight security. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah offered his prayers at the Jagannath Temple there.
The Rath Yatra, with chariots of Lord Jagannath, his brother Balbhadra and sister Subhadra, will roll out from the 400-year-old Jagannath temple at Jamalpur in Ahmedabad.
As the procession will pass through some communally sensitive areas, more than 18,000 security personnel of local police and para-military forces have been deployed at strategic locations along the route.
The celebration of the holy Hindu festival is done in a grand manner in the Jagannath Puri temple, one of the four Hindu shrines, in Odisha.
Hundreds of devotees flock to the beach town during the celebration. The festival is a celebration of Lord Jagannath travelling with his siblings, Lord Balbhadra and deity Shubhadra, to the temple of Queen Gundicha.
Famous sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik has created 100 sand chariots for setting a new record on the occasion of Jagannath Rathyatra at Puri Beach in Odisha.