Jagannath chariot rolls on in Visakhapatnam

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The endowments department made all arrangements for the chariot festival at the Lord Jagannath temple in Town Kotha Road.

Visakhapatnam: Devotees, in large numbers,  gathered at Lord Jagannath Swami temples in the city  and celebrated the Rath Yatra with a religious fervour on Wednesday.

The resonance of conchs echoed all through the city with the chorus of songs on Lord Jagannath as four major chariots carried the divine siblings of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra to their aunt’s house.

The endowments department made all arrangements for the chariot festival at the Lord Jagannath temple in Town Kotha Road. Utkal Sanskrutika Samaj, a premier socio-cultural organisation in the city, celebrated the Rath Yatra, where deities of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra were carried in a colourful chariot to the Gundicha temple from the temple at the Samaj premises near the AIR station.

Every year, the festival is celebrated in the city in a similar tradition and style as done in the famous Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra. The deities after Deva Snana Poornima or the Jyestha Poornima, convalesce after having the ceremonial bath and come out one day before the Rath Yatra which is called Netrostav and give Darshan to the devotees adorned in Tulashi called Tulashi Besham.

The chariot pulling started in the evening from the temple at Samaj premises and passed through the Millenia petrol bunk, AU out gate, Vuda Park and Shanti Ashram and reached Gundicha temple at Lawsons Bay Colony and it will stay there till July 14,  when the Bahuda Yatra or the return journey will begin.
Iskcon also conducted the chariot festival in the city.

At  Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, RINL CMD P. Madhusudan accompanied by the first lady of Ukkunagaram, Gowri Annapurna, invited Lord Jagannath on the occasion of Rath Yatra to the chariot. Donned in the traditional costumes of the King, Mr Madhusudan performed “Chhera Panhara”, the sweeping of the Chariot with the golden broom.

Rath Yatra , the most auspicious festival of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra was celebrated with fanfare and gaiety amidst “Jai Jagannath” chantings by the devotees and to the accompaniment of  music from mridang, cymbals and conches in Ukkunagaram. A large number of devotees pulled the chariot along the streets of Ukkunagaram.  Bhajans and dance troupes were performed enroute the Yatra.

The festival is a mixture of spiritual, cultural and social activities culminating with Samaradhana on July 17. The evening was vibrant with colourful cultural programmes, Sambalpuri folk dance and Odissi dance organised to mark the festival in the township.

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