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Raths of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra & Goddess Subhadra reached at ShreeGundichaTemple

Puri:12/7/21: The three Raths of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra & Goddess Subhadra have finally completed their journey today and reached ShreeGundichaTemple in a most divine & spiritual environment. The Raths are now stationed at Saradhabali, for the second successive year in absence of devotees on the auspicious occasion of Ratha Jatra today.

As per the order by the State Government, the annual Ratha Jatra was held only in Puri without devotees in view of prevailing COVID-19 situation. The devotees from across the country viewed the car festival of Lord Jagannath on different television channels in their houses.

The Lord of Universe along with His Siblings began nine-day sojourn to the Gundicha Temple, His Janma Bedi (birthplace) from Ratna Bedi (bejeweled throne) in sanctum sanctorum, on three chariots today. Following a performance of all rituals inside the Jagannath Temple in the morning, the servitors escorted Lord Balabhadra, Goddess Subhadra, and Lord Jagannath and His weapon Sudarshan in a ceremonial procession called Dhadi Pahandi from their abode to their respective chariots — Taladhwaja, Darpadalana, and Nandighosha — amid blowing of conches and beating of gongs.

As part of age-old tradition, Jagadguru Shankaracharya of Puri Govardhan Peetha, Swami Nischalachanda Saraswati, along with his disciples visited the Bada Danda and offered prayer to deities on three chariots.

Later, Puri Gajapati King Dibyasingha Deb performed ‘Chhera Panhara’, a major ritual before Juggernaut’s roll. As per the ritual, the King, who is the first servitor of Lord Jagannath, performed the ceremonial sweeping of the three chariot floors with a golden broom.

Following all the rituals performed on time as per the schedule fixed by the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) for the Holy car festival, the three gigantic chariots were pulled by the servitors and police personnel on the Grand Road.

The chariots were pulled to the Gundicha Temple, which is around 3 km away from the Jagannath temple in Puri.

Lord Balabhadra’s chariot Taladhwaja was the first pulled from the entrance of the Srimandir towards Gundicha temple at 12.08 PM, around 3 hours ahead of the schedule. Then, the chariot of Goddess Subhadra, Darpadalana, started rolling on the Bada Danda. Lord Jagannath followed His Siblings on His chariot Nandighosha. All three chariots rolled on the Bada Danda amidst chanting of hymns ‘Jai Jagannath’, blowing of conches, and beating of gongs and cymbals.

As per the guidelines, only servitors and police personnel were allowed to pull the chariots. Prior to this, they had undergone COVID RT-PCR test. The servitors and police personnel with negative reports for COVID-19 were permitted to be engaged for the car festival.

To restrict influx of devotees during Ratha Jatra in view of COVID-19 spread, the district administration has imposed 48-hour curfew in Puri from 8.00 PM of July 11 till 8.00 PM of July 13 by sealing all entry points to the pilgrim town.


About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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