Puri decked up as world famous Rath Yatra begins
Puri: The high alert put on Puri town following Bodh Gaya serial blasts failed to fall impact on the devotees as lakhs of Jagannath lovers congregated at the beach town to have glimpse of trinities today on three chariots on Bada Danda on the occasion of famous Rath Yatra.
The district administration has left no stone unturned to ensure a smooth conduct of the grand festival billed as one of the biggest surviving public celebrations of the world. As many as 104 platoons of police, 6 platoons of anti-terrorist squad and two companies of Rapid Action Force have been deployed in each and every lane of the tourist town to avoid any possible eventuality. Besides, the Indian Coast Guard ships and choppers of Indian Air Force have kept a strict vigil on possible entry of terrorists to foil the mega festival. The recently launched special tactical unit of Odisha police has also rushed to the Jagannath Dham today to join the security forces.
Around 35 CCTV cameras have been installed around the Jagannath temple and at different sensitive places in the Grand Road to keep an eye on the movements of the devotees. All vehicles to the town are being frisked, police sources said.
The traffic arrangements have been tightened for the smooth movements of the vehicles as the holy town has expected a foot fall of as many as 10 lakh Jagannath devotees for the millennia-old festival. The vehicles coming from NH-203 will park at Tala Bania ground. Similarly, the devotees coming from Bramhagiri area will park their vehicles at Jatia Baba parking place.
Gadadhar school ground has been reserved for the VIPs and VVIPs for parking, sources said. SCS College ground, Zilla school ground and Baliapanda ground have been arranged as the public parking place.
According to sources, three deities, Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra, will visit the Sri Gundicha temple, believed to be their birth place, for a nine-day sojourn. The trinities head towards the Gundicha temple riding the Raths on the Bada Danda. Legend says all sins of man will be vanished if one beholds the deities on the Raths and the man would be free from re-birth.