146th Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra 2023 begins
The 146th Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath commenced in the city of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, with tight security measures in place. A large number of devotees gathered along the 18-kilometer procession route to catch a glimpse of the deity. This year, the Gujarat Police employed advanced 3D mapping technology to monitor the entire route and utilized anti-drone technology to prevent the unauthorized use of drones during the event.
In the morning, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel performed the ‘Pahind Vidhi,’ a symbolic ritual of cleaning the path for the chariots, using a golden broom. Subsequently, the chariots carrying Lord Jagannath, his brother Balbhadra, and sister Subhadra began the yatra from the 400-year-old Jagannath Temple located in Jamalpur. These preparations were made prior to the commencement of the annual event.
Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra 2023, Key points
- Early Tuesday morning, Amit Shah, performed the ‘mangla aarti’, a sacred ritual to offer reverence to the deity, at the temple. Alongside the three chariots carrying Lord Jagannath, Balbhadra, and Subhadra, the procession included around 15 adorned elephants, 100 trucks adorned with tableaux, and singing troupes.
- The Rath Yatra is an annual event that takes place on Ashadhi Bij, the second day of the Ashad month in the Hindu calendar. The procession is scheduled to return to the temple by 8:30 pm on Tuesday, following a route through the Old City, which includes areas like Jamalpur, Kalupur, Shahpur, and Dariyapur, some of which are considered communally sensitive.
- To ensure the smooth and secure conduct of the Rath Yatra, over 26,000 personnel were deployed from the city police, Home Guards, State Reserve Police, and paramilitary forces. They were strategically positioned along the 18-kilometer-long yatra route to prevent any untoward incidents from occurring.