Balasore city in Odisha is all set to witness Lord Jagannath’s annual rath yatra from the majestic Emami Jagannath temple tomorrow. The festival is celebrated on the second day of Shukla Paksha of Ashadh, the third month, according to the traditional Oriya calendar. The journey will begin around 7.30 AM tomorrow from the Emami Jagannath temple. As many as three new splendid chariots have been created for the yatra of the Gods -– Lord Jagannath and his siblings — from the 78-feet high magnificent shrine, constructed on sprawling three acres of land on the premises of Emami Paper Mills, a release said.
The caravan of Lord Jagannath will stop midway for a meal of sweet pancakes, believed to be Jagannath’s favorite dish. The Lord will also be accompanied by the celestial wheel called ‘Sudarshan Chakra’ during the journey. Apart from the three holy chariots, the procession will have 10-12 trucks accompanying them. The colourful chariots of 45-feet high idols of Lord Jagannath, Balaram and Subhadra are pulled by thousands of devotees from India and abroad, moved through the major city roads amid the joyous chants of ‘Jai Jagannath’ and ‘Hare Krishna’.
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The carpenters, having rights for this job by heredity, follow century-old styles, written in the holy Hindu text, for building and decorating the chariots. One of the significance of this Yatra is that people from all religions and faiths can see the deities and participate in the procession as they are not allowed to enter the temple on other days, the release said. “The lord of mercy himself will come out on the streets of Balasore to shower his benevolence on all, blessing the participants and their families with happiness and peace forever,” said Sushil Goenka, trustee of the temple.
Jena, a senior IAS officer, in-charge of the temple administration, had yesterday said that the administration had made the provision of sign boards to be put at different places in order to create awareness among devotees visiting the holy town. The state government is expecting a congregation of about 10 lakh devotees during the yatra.