Balasore city in Odisha is all set to witness the annual Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra from the majestic Emami Jagannath Temple on June 25. The festival is celebrated on the second day of Shukla Paksha, Ashadh month, the third month of the traditional Oriya calendar. Three new and splendid chariots are constructed to escort Lord Jagannath, his brother Lord Balbhadra and his sister Subhadra from the 78-feet-high magnificent shrine located on three acres of land that was once was the premises of the Emami Paper Mills.
It is believed that those who manage to get a glimpse of the idols will have a prosperous year ahead. The rath yatra will start at around 7.30 a.m. on June 25 from the temple in the walled city of Balasore. The procession will stop midway to collect sweet pancakes, Lord Jagannath’s favourite dish. The three chariots are also accompanied by 10 to 12 trucks.
The Rath will be pulled by thousands of devotees from India and abroad, amid the joyous chants of ‘Jai Jagannath’ and ‘Hare Krishna’. The act of pulling the Rath with ropes during the Rath Yatra is believed to be an extremely religious act, and a belief that attracts tourists from across India and from abroad. The temple authorities will provide food to all devotees who will participate in the Rath Yatra.
On the occasion of the yatra, people of all faiths are allowed to see the deities and participate in the procession as they are not allowed to enter the temple on other days. Sushil Goenka, a trustee of the temple, said Lord Jagannath will shower his benevolence and blessings on all participants and their families.
Around one lakh people are expected to attend the rath yatra and the temple authorities are meeting with officials of the district administration for maintaining peace and ensuring a successful celebration of the Rath Yatra.