Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: The Holy Trinity-Lord Balabhadra, Lord Jagannath and Devi Subhadra  finally returned to their abode - the Srimandir, after their annual 9-day sojourn to Gundicha Temple, in their respective chariots.

For the next three days, the chariots will be parked outside the Singhadwara for a set of rituals including Sunabesa and Adhara Pana before they are  taken to the shrine on Niladri Bije.

While Lord Balabhadra’s chariot Taladhwaja and Devi Subhadra’s chariot Darpadalana arrived at the Singhadwara one after another, Lord Jagannath waited a short distance away from the temple where he was given customary welcome by Goddess Mahalaxmi and Gajapati Dibyasingha Deb. Later, He too reached the Singhadwara.

All the three chariots reached the Singhadwara, the Lion’s Gate in front of the Srimandir ahead of schedule.

Despite waterlogging and incessant rains, lakhs of devotees from across the country and abroad turned up on the Badadanda to witness homecoming of the deities.

Earlier in the morning, the Sri Gundicha Temple wore a festive look as rituals of the deities kicked off smoothly with the Mailama, Tadapalagi, Rosa Homa, Abakash and Gopal Ballav rituals.

Pahandi rituals began two and a half hours ahead of schedule and Lord Sudarshan at first followed by Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and finally Lord Jagannath were taken out of the Gundicha temple to their respective chariots.

The chariot pulling kicked off after Gajapati Dibyasingha Deb offered Chherapahanra, a service conducted by the king on chariots.

Heavy deployment of forces was in place to prevent any untoward incident during the occasion.

Meanwhile, CM Naveen Patnaik in a statement congratulated servitors, police, SJTA officials and general public for conduct of a peaceful and hassle-free Rath Yatra.