Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra 2022 : Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath begins with Pahandi ritual

Chariots of Lord Jagannath Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra ahead of the annual Rath Yatra festival at Grand Road in Puri PTI
Chariots of Lord Jagannath Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra ahead of the annual Rath Yatra festival at Grand Road in Puri PTI

On the eve of Lord Jagannath’s Rath Yatra, renowned sand artist Sudarshan Patnaik made 125 sand chariots and a sand idol of Lord Jagannath at Puri beach in Odisha on Thursday.

Patnaik, who already holds the record of making 100 sand chariots, is now trying to make another record in the Limca Book of Records by making 125 sand chariots at Puri beach.

Meanwhile, the ‘Pahandi’ ritual for Jagannath Rath Yatra started in Puri. After a gap of two years after the COVID pandemic, this time the participation of devotees in the Rath Yatra has been allowed.

Patnaik along with the students of his Sand Art Institute took around 14 hours to complete these sculptures.

Patnaik said that sand art is believed to have originated during the Rath Yatra in the 16th century, which was initiated by Balarama Das, a staunch devotee of Jagannath and a famous poet, who was once humiliated by the servants and started the Rath Yatra. Pulling of chariots was not allowed Then he went to the beach and carved the chariots on the sand.

Patnaik also appealed to the people to avoid the use of single-use plastic and keep the environment clean during the Rath Yatra.

Meanwhile, thousands of devotees thronged the pilgrimage town of Puri as the stage was ready for the nine-day Rath Yatra beginning on Friday. After a gap of two years due to the COVID pandemic, devotees have been allowed to witness the biggest festival of Odisha this year.

Let us tell you that the Nandighosh chariot of Lord Jagannath is 45.6 feet high, the Taladhwaj chariot of Balaramji is 45 feet high and Goddess Subhadra’s Darpadalana chariot is 44.6 feet high. These three chariots are made without the use of any nails or iron. A devotee who came to attend the Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath told us that we have come here after 2 years, it is very happy. People’s faith and faith in Jagannath Ji remains the same as it was always. People say that pulling this chariot is a good feeling in itself. Whoever pulls this chariot, Jagannath Ji has special grace on him.

High Court

In 2020, a symbolic rath yatra was organized on the premises of the Lord Jagannath temple, after the Gujarat High Court denied permission for the usual public procession given the pandemic.

Last year, only three chariots and two other vehicles had covered the entire route and returned without the usual festivity as no other vehicle, singing troupes, akhadas, elephants, or decorated trucks were permitted.

This year, besides the three chariots of Lord Jagannath, his brother Balram and sister Subhadra, the Rath Yatra procession comprises nearly 15 decorated elephants, 100 trucks with tableaux, members of religious groups, akharas (local gyms), and singing troupes.

The yatra is taken out every year on Ashadhi Bij, the second day of Ashadh month, as per the Hindu calendar.

The procession will return to the temple at around 8.30 pm after passing through an 18-km-long route in the Old City, including some communally sensitive areas like Jamalpur, Kalupur, Shahpur, and Dariyapur.

As many as 25,000 security personnel, including those from the Central Armed Police Forces, are deployed at strategic locations along the yatra route to prevent any untoward incident, officials said.

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