Puri: Three majestic wooden chariots carrying Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra rolled on the grand road of Puri as sea of devotees congregated to witness the annual Rath Yatra 2023 on Tuesday.
The deities began their 9-day annual sojourn to Gundicha Temple on grand chariots. The fervent devotees pulled the chariots — Lord Jagannath’s Nandighosha, Lord Balabhadra’s Taladhwaja and Goddess Subhadra’s Darpadalana — from Singhadwara towards Gundicha Temple, deities’ birthplace.
After the performance of all rituals inside the Jagannath Temple in the morning, the servitors escorted Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Lord Sudarsana from their abode to their respective chariots amid the blowing of conches and beating of cymbals.
The ceremonial procession of the deities is known as “Pahandi”.
The three deities were taken atop of the three traditionally decked up chariots-Nandighosa (for Jagannath), Taladhwaja (for Balabhadra) and Darpadalana (for Subhadra).
Later, Puri Gajapati Dibyasingha Deb performed ‘Chhera Panhara’, a major ritual of the annual festival. As per the ritual, Puri Gajapati performed the ceremonial sweeping of the three chariot floors with a golden broom.
With the performance of all rituals, the three gigantic chariots were pulled by the devotees on the grand road.
The chariots were pulled to Gundicha temple, which is around 3 km away from the main Jagannath temple.
Lord Balabhadra’s chariot was the first one being pulled from the entrance of the Srimandir towards Gundicha temple.
Taladhwaja, the chariot of Lord Balabhadra, started rolling on Bada Danda (grand road) amidst chanting of hymns, blowing of conchs and the beating of gongs and cymbals.
Then, Darpadalana, the chariot of Devi Subhadra, started rolling on Bada Danda.
Lord Jagannath, the cynosure of all, came on his chariot Nandighosa to give Darsan to the devotees amid the chanting of ‘Jai Jagannath’.