Ahmedabad all geared for Lord Jagannath's Rath Yatra

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Ahmedabad, Jun 30 (UNI) All preparations have been made for the 131st annual Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath which will be taken out from the historical Jagannath Temple at Jamalpur here on July 4.

Temple chief priest Rameshwardasji Maharaj told reporters here today that work on decorating the three main chariots -- that of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balram and Shubhadra -- had been completed by the devotees and ''sadhus''.

The ''Yatra'' will be flagged off by Chief Minister Narendra Modi after performing ''pooja'' at 0700 hrs on July 4.

The ''Yatra'', taken out across the country, is known under varied names like ''Gundicha Jatra'', ''Ghosa Jatra'', ''Navadina Jatra'' and ''Dasavatara Jatra''.

In Ahmedabad, the ''Yatra'' will skirt along a 35-kilometre route. The ''Yatra'', en route, will be welcomed even by leaders of the minority communities.

Rameshwardasji Maharaj said city police commissioner O P Mathur and the State Home Department, who have accorded permission to the ''Yatra'', have assured to provide foolproof security.

The ''Yatra'' will be led by sixteen highly-decorated elephants, followed by nearly 100 floats which will portray Indian values and culture. Around 30 ''Akharas'' will accompnay the ''Yatra'' wherein youths will perform physical exercises en route. Besides, there will be 18 ''Bhajan Mandalis'' and three musical bands.

As per the tradition, the three main chariots will be manually pulled by over 1200 youhts of the ''Khalashi'' community.

Over 2000 ''sadhus'', including Naga Bavas, from Haridwar, Ayodhya, Nashik, Ujjain and other parts, will participate in the ''Yatra''.

The ''Yatra'', after wending its way through the streets of Ahmedabad, will return back the Jagannath Temple late in the evening.

UNI MP MAZ RL HT1940

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