Lakhs of devotees witness ''Bahuda yatra''

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Puri, July 12 (UNI) More than five lakh devotees today congregated in this holy city and participated the return car festival known as ''Bahuda' yatra in traditional style and gaiety.

The three chariots carrying Lord Balavadra,his elder brother Lord Jagannath and their sister Devi Subhadra were pulled along the 3 kms long Grand Road (Badadanda) to the main temple before sun set.

The lords were returning to main temple after their nine day sojourn in Gundicha temple.

The Daita servitors took out the holy triads Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Lord Jagannath in the ceremonial ''Pahandi '' procession through ''Nakachanadwar''(exit gate of gundicha temple) to their respective chariots parked out side for return journey in a pahandi bije in the morning .

Early in the morning temple priests performed Mangal aarati followed by Surya and Dwarpal pooja. The deities were offered Gopal bhog before their return journey to their original abode.

Gajapati Raja Divyasingh Dev came in a decorated palanquin called ''Tanjan''carried by the servitors on their shoulders from his palace in the afternoon to perform the ceremonial ''chherapahanra'' (cleaning the chariots with the gold broom) on all the three chariots.

The devotees were allowed to pull the first chariot called Taladhwaja of Lord Balabhadra followed by ''Darpadalan''of Devi Subadra and then ''Nandighosh'' chariot of lord Jagannath.

Sources said all the rituals including the phandi bije was conducted as per the schedule.A light drizzle cooled the atmosphere.

The administration had taken steps to ensure arrival of all three chariots before sun set and decided to pull the chariots under flood light but fortunately by 1800 hours all the three chariots reached the main temple.

Tomorrow famous ''Sunavesh'' of the lords would be observed on the three chariots amidt tight security as hundreds of quintals of gold and precious jewelleries would be used to dress the trinity atop their chariots.

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