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Fervour and devotion mark Sri Jagannath `rath yatra'

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PIETY IN THE AIR: Devotees pulling the chariot carrying Lord Jagannath, his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra at old town in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday. Photo: K.R. Deepak
PIETY IN THE AIR: Devotees pulling the chariot carrying Lord Jagannath, his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra at old town in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday. Photo: K.R. Deepak

Staff Reporter

Deities to be kept at Turner's Choultry till the return journey to the temple on July 7

VISAKHAPATNAM: The annual `rath yatra' of Lord Jagannadha Swamy was celebrated with all fervour and devotion here on Tuesday. Over 5,000 devotees braved the showers to participate in the `Tholi rath yatra' of the Jagannadha Swamy temple on the main road in the old town area. According to the temple officials, this is the oldest `rath yatra' in the city. The well-decorated rath was set to roll at 4.30 p.m. with the Lord Jagannath, His elder brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra in the chariot.

With over 100 people belonging to all age groups pulling the rath, it reached the Turner's Choultry at 6 p.m. The deities will be kept there till the return journey to the temple on July 7. For the next 10 days, Lord Jagannadh will be decked up to take the shape of the 10 incarnations (Dasa Avatara) of Lord Vishnu. Visakha-I MLA Dronamraju Srinivas pulled the chariot to mark the inauguration.

The Utkal Sanskrutika Samaj pulled its rath from the temple premises in Siripuram to the Gundicha temple at Lawson's Bay. The traditional sweeping of the chariot with the golden broom was performed by S.C. Choudhury, Commissioner of Customs and Central Excise. The Raja of Daspalla Purna Chandra Deo Bhanj, who died recently, was performing the ritual since the temple was established.

At Ukkunagaram, the Utkalika Cultural Association conducted the yatra with traditional fervour and gaiety with a large number of devotees participating in it. Chairman-cum-Managing Director of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant Y. Siva Sagar Rao performed the ritual of sweeping of the chariot with the golden broom.

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