In the News:
Jagannath Rath Yatra Begins in Puri

by Sify Newsdesk

Posted July 27, 2010

Puri: Nearly a million devotees are expected to converge at the city of Puri in Orissa for the annual nine-day chariot festival of Lord Jagannath, beginning on July 13.

The festival commemorates Lord Jagannath's annual visit to his aunt's home. This is the Gundicha Temple which is situated at a distance of 2 km from the main temple.

The three deities - Jagannath (Krishna), Balarama and Subhadra - are taken through the streets for everyone to see them. Three richly decorated chariots, resembling temple structures, are pulled through the streets of Puri.

New chariots are built every year. This is the only day when devotees who are not allowed in the temple premises such as non-Hindus and foreigners, can catch a glimpse of the deities.

The festival is spread over the summer and monsoon months, as it is held during the month of Ashadha of the Indian calendar.

More than 5,000 policemen have been deployed across the city to maintain law and order and prevent any untoward incident, a police official said Monday.

Hundreds of policemen in plainclothes will also be on duty in Puri.

More than a dozen closed circuit security cameras have also been installed at various places to keep a watch on troublemakers and manage crowds.

An official said bomb detection and disposal squads and fire tender units are also ready to meet emergencies. The coast guard has been put on alert.

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