The 146th edition of the revered Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath commenced in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, amid tight security arrangements. Devotees gathered along the 18-kilometer procession route to catch a glimpse of the deity and participate in the grand event. This year, the Gujarat Police took advanced measures, including the use of 3D mapping technology and anti-drone systems, to ensure the smooth conduct of the yatra and prevent any unauthorized drone activity.
Symbolic ritual and commencement of the yatra
In the morning, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel performed the symbolic ritual known as ‘Pahind Vidhi,’ where he used a golden broom to clean the path for the chariots. Soon after, the magnificent chariots carrying Lord Jagannath, Balbhadra, and Subhadra set off on their journey from the historic 400-year-old Jagannath Temple located in Jamalpur. These preparations marked the beginning of the annual event.
Key highlights of Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra 2023
On early Tuesday morning, Amit Shah, a prominent political figure, performed the sacred ‘mangla aarti,’ a ritual to offer reverence to the deity, at the temple. The procession included the three grand chariots carrying Lord Jagannath, Balbhadra, and Subhadra, as well as around 15 adorned elephants, 100 trucks embellished with tableaux, and singing troupes. The Rath Yatra, a significant annual event, takes place on the second day of the Ashad month in the Hindu calendar, known as Ashadhi Bij. The procession is scheduled to return to the temple by 8:30 pm on Tuesday, following a route that passes through various areas of the Old City, including Jamalpur, Kalupur, Shahpur, and Dariyapur, some of which are considered communally sensitive.
Security arrangements and personnel deployment
To ensure the smooth and secure conduct of the Rath Yatra, more than 26,000 personnel were deployed, including city police, Home Guards, State Reserve Police, and paramilitary forces. They were strategically positioned along the 18-kilometer yatra route to maintain law and order and prevent any untoward incidents from occurring.
The 146th Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra in Ahmedabad commenced with great fervor and devotion. With advanced security measures in place, devotees and participants were able to partake in the grand event safely. The Rath Yatra holds immense religious and cultural significance, attracting devotees from far and wide to witness the procession of Lord Jagannath, Balbhadra, and Subhadra through the streets of Gujarat’s city.
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