BHUBANESWAR: Chariot pulling of Lord Balabhadra, Lord Jagannath and Devi Subhadra has started on the grand road of Puri on Thursday.
Lakhs of devotees have congregated in the holy town to have the blessings of the deities and pull the chariots to Sri Mandir.
Adequate security arrangements have been made for the smooth conduct of the festival, Director General of Police KB Singh said.
He said the police administration is keeping a strict vigil on the movement of people to avoid any untoward situation.
Bahuda Yatra is the return journey of the deities from Gundicha temple, where they stay for seven days, to Srimandir.
The deities go to the Gundicha temple during the Rath Yatra, which marks the journey of the deities from the 12th-century shrine in the chariots to the temple of Devi Gundicha, their aunt.
“On the ninth day of the festival, Bahuda Jatra, the grand return journey takes place. On the way back they stop for a short while and partake of poda pitha, a type of cake made of rice, lentils, jaggery and coconut, offered by their aunt, mausima,” said the official website of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration.
Earlier in the day, Puri Gajapati Dibyasingh Dev performed ‘Chhera Pahanra’ on the chariots.