141st Rath-yatra concluded peacefully, Lord Jagannath returns Nij-Mandir with brother and sister but will spend night out-side


The 141st rath yatra (chariot procession) of Lord Jagannath, his brother Balbhadra and sister Subhadra from historic Jagannath temple in Ahmedabad which started this morning amid unprecedented security and chants of Jai Ranchhod Makhanchor and Jai Jagannath after the traditional Pahind Vidhi (the ritual of cleaning the route of procession in the temple premises in the morning before its start with golden broom) by chief minister Vijay Rupani and Dy CM Nitin Patel ended peacefully with return of the procession to the temple (Nij Mandir) tonight.

The procession had started at around seven in the morning and returned after over 12 hour long to and fro journey from Saraspur whihch is deemed as Mosal of the lord. After a brief break there in the afternoon it returned covering communally sensitive areas like Dariapur and Shahpur.

The idol of lord Jagannath in the chariot despite return to the temple would remain outside in the premises owing to a religious belief and tradition. It is believed that the main queen of lord Jagannath, Devi Rukmani becomes angry owing to her exclusion from the rath yatra in which brother and sister of the lord are included. Owing to this she does not allow him to let in the temple tonight. So the idol would remain outside the whole night and taken back to their seats in the temple tomorrow morning after Devi Rukmini’s anger ends.

As a result the night aarti of the idols was done in the chariots itself by the main priest Mahant Dilip Das.

Meanwhile, elaborate security arrangements were in place for the procession of three main chariots of lord Jagannath, brother Balram and sister Subhadra which also included over a dozen elephants, 101 decorated trucks with tableau as chariots, 18 bhajan mandalis, 30 akhadas and large number of saints which itself was around one kilometer in length while the to and fro route from the temple in Jamalpur to Mosal in Saraspur was around 18 km long.

Over 20000 security personnel were deployed for security of the Rath-yatra and Israel made drone guard system and helium balloon cameras were used for the first time for security. Para Military forces including the anti riots RAF apart form more than 20 companies of State Reserve police force (SRP) were also deployed. The route was kept under aerial surveillance through drone cameras and other devices apart from pre-fixed over 190 CCTV cameras. Plain clothed security personnel were deployed in the sensitive areas of the yatra route to thwart any untoward incident. Even the NSG team was kept on stand to for any emergency.

Lakhs of devotees thronged the temple and the yatra route to have a glimpse of the lord. Chants of Jai Ranchhod Makhan Chor and Jai Jagannath reverberated all the way. Members of Muslim community also greeted the procession as it crosses through the areas of their larger population.

Every year the rath yatra is held on the Ashadi beej day of Gujarati Calendar.

Earlier BJP president Amit Shah participated in the Mangla Aarti in the temple early morning at 4am. The eyes of the 3 main deities Lord Jagannath, elder brother Balbhadra and sister Subhadra tied with cloth stips two days ago during Netrotsav ritual were also later opened amid chants of mantras. They golden crowns donated by a group of devotees to the deities yesterday have also been put on the heads of the idols.

CM Rupani after Pahind vidhi said that he prayed for the prosperity and development of the people and state of Gujarat and also for the good monsoon.

CM Rupani had also visited the temple last evening to participate in Sandhya Aarti. He had taken stock of the security arrangements for Rath-yatra through his dash-board in his official residence in capital Gandhinagar yesterday and during the movement of procession also today. NSG commandos had also marched on the yatra route in their vehicles.

Offerings sent by PM Narendra Modi were also received by the temple yesterday.

The Rath Yatra took the traditional route via Municipal Corporation, Raipur Chakla, Khadiya crossing, Kalupur cirlce to reach the Mosal at Sarspur and return to the temple late in the evening via Prem Darwaja, Delhi Chakla, Shahpur, Ghee Kanta, Manek Chowk.

Around 30000 kg of Moong (green gram), 500 kg Jamun (Indian blackberry), 300 kg of mangoes and 400 kg of cucumber/pomegranate would be used for prasad.

14 road routes in the city remained closed at different times for the yatra. Several routes of the AMTS and BRTS bus services were diverted. Over 1100 traffic personnel were deployed for maintaining the traffic during the yatra.