Ahmedabad: Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel on Friday morning flagged off the 145th annual Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath by performing the method of ‘Phind’, a method of applying gold brooms along the route of the Rath Yatra, in Ahmedabad.
The Rath Yatra, which started from the Jagannath temple in Jamalpur at 0705 in the morning, will reach Saraspur in the afternoon, symbolizing the house of the maternal uncle of the Lord, from where it will return to the temple late in the evening after taking some rest. Thousands of devotees will also have food in the form of Prasad in Saraspur. The Rath Yatra will pass through sensitive stretches of the old city like Shahpur and Dariyapur. Hundreds of small and big Rath Yatras are being taken out in other parts of the state also, due to which the entire state has become Lord Jagannathaya.
The Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra in Ahmedabad is being held along the lines of the Rath Yatra of Jagannath Puri. The chariots of the gods left Ahmedabad in the morning and the Rath Yatra will return to the temple at 0830 in the evening after passing through the traditional routes. The journey first started from Gajraj.
Around 18 decorated Gajraj were at the forefront leading the yatra. they were followed by some 101 types of tableaux, 30 akhadas showing the experiments of exercise, 18 bhajan troupes, and three bandwagons with the chariot of God. More than 2000 saints and sages have come from Haridwar, Ayodhya, Nashik, Ujjain, Jagannathpuri, and Saurashtra to participate in this Rath Yatra. Along the way, 1,000 to 1,200 people are taking the chariot forward.
Special arrangements have been made for Prasad for the Rath Yatra. About 30 thousand kg moong, 500 kg Jamun, 300 kg mango, 400 kg cucumber, pomegranate, and khichdi will be distributed during the Rath Yatra. Insurance of Rs 1.5 crore has also been taken out for the safety of this Rath Yatra.
Tight security arrangements have also been made for the Rath Yatra which will also be passing through the communally sensitive old areas of Ahmedabad. More than 25,000 police and security personnel have been deployed for the Rath Yatra. Real-time monitoring on the entire Rath Yatra route is being undertaken along with the use of drones to keep an eye over the Rath Yatra and the use of technologically advanced security devices has also been added to the Rath Yatra.
The 145th Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath was taken out from the historic Jagannath Temple in Ahmedabad on the day of Ashadhi Beej (Dooj) here on Friday, after a gap of two years due to the Covid pandemic. Lord Jagannath himself, along with sister Subhadra and elder brother Balarama have come out in the city yatra to give darshan to their devotees. Rath Yatras are also being organized in other small and big cities and rural areas of the state including the capital Gandhinagar, Rajkot, Surat, Bhavnagar, Vadodara, Jamnagar, Junagadh, Amreli, and Dahod. There is a lot of enthusiasm among the people regarding the Rath Yatra.