Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Rath Yatra 2024: Holy Trinity Halt Midway, Pulling of Chariots to Resume Tomorrow – N.F Times

Puri: A tidal wave of devotees pulled forward magnificent chariots of Lord Jagannath and His two siblings-Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra Sunday from Srimandir in the heart of this sea-side pilgrim town to their alternate abode about 2.5 kms away.

Lakhs more thronged to pull, touch, pray or just watch the huge procession of the three gigantic wooden chariots, Nandighosha of Lord Jagannath, Taladhwaja of Lord Balabhadra and Darpadalana of Devis Subhadra

According to the information received from the Srimandir administration, the Pahandi Bije rituals started at 11.10 am and ended at 2.20 pm, Madan Mohan Bije was held at 2.25 pm, the Chhera Panhara ritual of three chariots was completed at 4.40 pm. The devotees started pulling the Chariots at 4.50 pm and the procession was halted at 6.45 pm due to sunset.

Before sunset, the Taladwaja chariot of Lord Balabhadra could be pulled till Marichikote Chhak while Devi Subhadra’s Darpadalana stopped mid-way near Sri Nara and Lord Jagannath’s Nandighosha chariot was pulled just a few metres away in front of the Simhadwara (Lions Gate).

As per tradition, chariots are not pulled after sunset. Devotees expressed happiness because they got another chance to pull the chariots tomorrow.

After morning rituals on Monday, the pulling of the three chariots will resume towards the destination, Mausi Maa Temple.

Rhythmically beating brass cymbals and hand drums, servitors surrounded the gods on the canopied chariots as the procession made its slow and serpentine way through the Grand Road of Puri town.

The air rented with “Jai Jagannath” and “Haribol” as frenzied devotees tried to get a glimpse of what is regarded as a holy occasion by Hindus.

President Droupadi Murmu, Odisha Governor Raghubar Das, Chief Minister Mohan Charan Majhi, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, and former Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also witnessed the chariot pulling.

A million devotees are estimated to have converged on this town for the annual car festival. While most devotees were from Odisha and neighbouring states, many from abroad too joined in what is considered one of the largest religious processions globally.

Earlier in the day, Dibya Singha Deb, the Gajapati Maharaj of Puri, ritualistically swept the chariots with a broom with a golden handle, as priests sprinkled flowers and fragrant water.

Different groups performed ‘kirtans’ (religious songs) and danced in front of the chariots before the procession started.

Tight security arrangements were made by the district administration and police to ensure a succesful chariot pulling.

The annual Rath Yatra, which marks the nine-day sojourn of Lord Jagannath is held every year on ‘Dwitiya Tithi’ (second day) of ‘Shukla Pakshya’ (the fortnight after full moon) in the month of Ashada (June-July) according to the Hindu almanac.

The chariot pulling started after the Puri’s titular king completed the ‘Chhera Pahanra’ (Chariot sweeping) ritual. The wooden horses were fitted on the chariots and the servitor pilots guided the devotees to pull the chariots in the right direction.

 The big brother Lord Balabhadra was the first to come out of the temple followed by Devi Subhadra and later Lord Jagannath himself. While Lord Balabhadra was seated on the Taladwaj chariot, Lord Jagannath adorned the chariot named Nandighosh, and Chakra Raj Sudarsan was seated at the chariot of Subhadra- Darpadalan.

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