Despite inclement weather, devotees pulled the chariots of the Trinity on Badadanda even as thousands watched the proceedings from vantage points like hotels, private buildings and mutts along the Grand Road.
Puri:Despite heavy rain and inclement weather, lakhs of devotees pulled the chariots of Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra up to their destination Gundicha temple, and Jagannath’s Nandighosh up to Balagandi on the Grand Road till sunset. However, the Nandighosh chariot carrying Lord Jagannath, failed to reach its destination and stopped near Balagandi, and will be pulled by the devotees Sunday morning
Taladhawaja and Debadalan reached the Gundicha temple, in a grand procession amidst chanting of ‘Jai Jagannath’, ‘Haribol’ and blowing of conches by lakhs of devotees before sunset. The chariot of Lord Jagannath, was stopped near Balagandi as it was stuck up on the extreme side of Badadanda due to some problems.
The rituals for the nine-day festival began early Saturday Devotees in large number gathered outside the police cordon near the temple to have a glimpse of the deities aboard the chariots.
Shree Jagannath Temple Administration officials informed this paper that the rituals began in the wee hours with mangala alati and were followed by mailama, tadapalagi and rosa homa. Later, Abakash rituals, Surya Puja and Dwarapala puja were conducted as per tradition.
While some devotees were chanting the holy names and singing kirtans, others appeared on the Grand Road as dancers or as mythological characters such as Hanuman, Krishna and Shiva among others.
Although the rituals were completed an hour and 30 minutes before the schedule, the chariots had to go slow owing to heavy rain and bad weather. Temple sources said the rituals at the main gate of Sri mandir started as early as 2am. The Senapata lagi ritual was completed at 5.35am and mangal arati by 5.50am.
The pahandi or the ceremonial perambulation of the deities before they are escorted to the chariots started at 8.50am and completed at 11.45 am. Amid the chants of hymns, the idol of Lord Sudarshan was taken to Goddess Subhadra’s chariot (Darpadalana) at first. Later Lord Balabhadra was taken out of the sanctum sanctorum in pahandi to his Taladhwaja chariot before Lord Jagannath was taken to Nandighosha.
After the deities were placed on their respective chariots, Shankaracharya of Gobardhanpeeth Nischalananda Saraswati paid a visit to the Trinity on the chariots. Puri Gajapati Divyasingh Dev performed ‘Chhera Panhara’ on the chariots. Then the chariots were ready to be pulled by the devotees. After the rituals, Taladhwyaja was pulled at 2.35pm, Darpadalana at 3.20pm and Nandighosh at 4.05 pm.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wished people on the occasion of Ratha Jatra. “Greetings on the auspicious occasion of Rath Yatra. With the blessings of Lord Jagannath, may our country scale new heights of growth,” tweeted the Prime Minister.
Similarly, Chief Minister Patnaik wished for the development of the state and prosperity of one and all with the blessings of the Lord. “Warm wishes on occasion of holy #RathYatra. May Lord Jagannath guide us on path of peace, prosperity and unity,” tweeted Patnaik.