Vikash Sharma

Braving excessive heat and humidity, lakhs of devotees from different parts of the country and the globe participated in the annual Rath Yatra in Puri on Tuesday.

Since the early morning, devotees started to congregate on Bada Danda, or the Grand Road in the pilgrim town for the annual sojourn of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Devi Subhadra. After all the deities were brought out by the servitors in the traditional Pahandi, Puri Gajapati Maharaj Dibyasingha Deb performed the ‘Chhera Panhara’ on the three chariots- Darpadalan (chariot of the Goddess Subhadra), Taladwaja (chariot of Lord Balabhadra) and Nandighosa (the chariot of Lord Jagannath).

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Amidst chants of Jai Jagannath and the beating of cymbals and gongs, devotees danced in joy as the deities swayed all the way to their respective chariots in Pahandi. It was indeed a unique spectacle that draws lakhs of devotees to the pilgrim town of Puri every year on the occasion of Rath Yatra.

The connection between the Lord of the Universe and his devotees cannot be described in words as it is only to cherish and relive the moment for years to come. The darshan of Lord and his sibling deities atop their respective chariots is unique and holds significance, particularly for those who cannot have a glimpse of the Mahaprabhu inside the Puri Srimandir.

Enthusiasm was at zenith among the devotees as they pulled the three gigantic chariots on the Bada Danda.