Enthusiastic shouts of ‘Jai Jagannath’ pervaded the air on the National Sanskrit University (NSU) campus as a large number of devotees took part in the Jagannath Rath Yatra organised by the varsity’s Odisha Chair on Friday.
Over a thousand devotees turned up to pull the brightly-decorated chariot carrying the idols of Lord Jagannath and his siblings Goddess Subhadra and Lord Balabhadra, marking the annual sojourn of the deities.
The procession, which began from the campus in the morning, traversed through the city’s arterial roads and returned to the campus by dusk. Vice-Chancellor Radha Kant Thakur formally cleaned the chariot and before it set off, with the crowd taking turns to pull it.
Registrar ‘Commander’ Challa Venkateswar, Controller of Examinations S. Sambasiva Murthy, Odisha Chair Director Gyan Ranjan Panda, adviser Radha Govind Tripathi, faculty members, students and the general public participated in the festival. Members of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) led the procession, with devotees from the order playing cymbals and traditional drums and lending their voice in chorus.
As the procession moved out of the campus into the city, locals gathered at prominent spots like Bhavani Nagar Junction, Municipal Corporation, Nalugukalla Mandapam and Town Club to offer ‘Harathi’ to the deities.