Devotees converge on Puri for Jagannath festivalJune 29th, 2012 - 1:09 pm ICT by IANS
Bhubaneswar, June 29 (IANS) Lakhs of devotees converged on Odisha’s temple town of Puri Friday to witness the homecoming festival of Lord Jagannath and two other deities in the Bahuda Yatra.
Despite mild rainfall, more than four lakh people have thronged to the beach town, about 56 km from here, Laxmidhar Pujapanda, public relations officer of the temple administration, told IANS.
Authorities expect the number of devotees to swell further to about a million as the weather is conducive.
Most of the rituals were performed ahead of the schedule. The ceremonial procession of the deities known as Pahandi - carrying the deities out of the temple to the chariots - was earlier scheduled at 12 noon. However they were held about two hours earlier, Pujapanda said.
The Bahuda Yatra marks the return of Lord Jagannath, elder brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra from the Gundicha temple to the main Jagannath temple about three km away, both in Puri.
The return festival is held nine days after the annual Rath Yatra, which marks the journey of the three deities from the 12th century Jagannath temple in three decorated wooden chariots to Gundicha temple.
The rath yatra is held on the second day of the waxing moon during the month of Ashadha (June-July) of the Indian calendar. The deities return to their abode in the decorated chariots, which thousands of devotees pull with the help of ropes amid chanting of hymns.
A glimpse of the deities on the chariots during the Rath Yatra and Bahuda Yatra is considered to be very auspicious.
The state government has made elaborate security arrangements with about 8,000 policemen deployed across the town to maintain law and order and prevent any untoward incident.
Bomb detection and disposal squads and fire tenders have been engaged to meet emergencies. The Coast Guard has stationed a ship in the Bay of Bengal close to the Puri coast, and intensified patrolling along the sea route.
- Lakhs witness Rath Yatra in Puri (Lead) - Jun 21, 2012
- Lakhs converge on Puri for Rath Yatra - Jun 21, 2012
- Orissa town celebrates return festival of deities - Jul 11, 2011
- Puri Rath Yatra chariots reach destination - Jun 22, 2012
- Sea of pilgrims at Puri for annual chariot festival - Jul 03, 2011
- Lakhs witness deities' bathing ritual in Puri - Jun 15, 2011
- Puri Ratha Yatra preparations gain momentum in Odisha - Jun 11, 2012
- Lakhs converge in Puri for Jagannath return festival - Jul 21, 2010
- 62 special trains for Puri Rath Yatra - Jun 20, 2012
- Woman dies in stampede during Jagannath Rath Yatra (Lead) - Jul 13, 2010
- Security in place for Puri's Jagannath return festival - Jul 20, 2010
- Lakhs converge in Puri for Jagannath Rath Yatra - Jul 13, 2010
- Security beefed up ahead of Puri chariot festival - Jun 20, 2012
- Special trains for Rath Yatra in Orissa - Jul 10, 2010
- Puri sees bath festival - Jun 26, 2010
Tags: bay of bengal, bomb detection, ceremonial procession, chariots, deities, elder brother, fire tenders, homecoming festival, indian calendar, jagannath temple, lakhs, lord jagannath, puri, rath yatra, sea route, security arrangements, subhadra, temple town, untoward incident, waxing moon