PURI: Lord Jagannath and his siblings Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra are ready to go on a nine-day sojourn to Srigundicha temple on the occasion of Rath Yatra, July 12.
Like last year, the festival is being organised without the presence of devotees due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, the three chariots were pulled to the Lions’ Gate of Srimandir from the Rath Yard amid tight security Sunday.
“The chariots were pulled to the Lion’s Gate of Srimandir after the temple priests placed the presiding deities’ Aagyan Mala on their respective chariots. Now, the chariots are ready to carry the deities to Srigundicha temple Monday,” said an official of the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA). As per tradition, Nadighosa chariot of Lord Jagannath was the first to be pulled to the Lions’ Gate, which was followed by Darpadalan chariot of Devi Subhadra and Taladhwaja chariot of Lord Balabhadra.
The district administration has, meanwhile, stepped up security around the 12th century shrine and the Grand Road to ensure a smooth Rath Yatra. Prohibitory orders have been clamped on the city to prevent people’s participation in the festival.
As many as 65 platoons of police have been deployed in Puri for the smooth conduct of the festival. Senior officials, including Puri Collector Samarth Verma and SP Kanwar Vishal Singh, are now supervising the arrangements, sources said.
According to Srimandir sources, the Managalarpan ritual of the deities would be performed at 8.15 am Monday and the Pahandi procession would start at 8.30 am.
The three deities would be placed on their respective chariots by 11.30 am. Gajapati King Dibyasingha Dev is scheduled to perform the Chhera Panhanra ritual by 2 pm. Servitors will start pulling the chariots at 3 pm, said the temple sources.
As per earlier decision, only servitors of the 12th century shrine will pull the chariots. The district administration, meanwhile, has set up drinking water kiosks and rest sheds for the servitors on the Grand Road.
“We have arranged healthcare, transportation and other facilities for the servitors,” said an official of the district administration.