Security tightened in Orissa ahead of Jagannath Yatra festival

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Puri (Orissa), July 12 (ANI): Arrangements for the annual Lord Jagannath Chariot Festival are in full swing in the temple city of Puri, Orissa.

Craftsmen are working round the clock to put together giant three wooden chariots for the festival, which begins on Tuesday.

Artisans are busy painting the chariots made entirely of wood and eighing tens of tonnes and more than two meters in diameter,

The Daita Patis or servitor of Lord Jagannath also is enthusiastic about the annual festival.

"All devotees call it a car festival. It is world famous.

Devotees wait for the lord to come out to take a glance of him.

We are his Daita Patis (priest of Lord Jagannath), his brother. We will be with the lord throughout the car festival. But people would come to take his blessings," said Ram Das Mohapatra, Servitor.

Security has been beefed up at the temple.

According to superintendent of police Sanjay Kumar, the authorities have made elaborate arrangement for the safety of the pilgrims.

"We are deploying 70-75 platoon force, we have two companies of rapid action force, we have kept CCTV cameras at various positions which can capture any kind of misleading activity, for the security of the temple, three layers has been designed by our officials. Our officials have been assigned civil patrolling too. To manage the traffic, we have divided the city in 27 sectors. We have decided that, for the main three days of the pilgrimage, all the vehicles will take one-way route. This adjustment will take place as soon as possible in the city," said Sanjay Kumar, Superintendent of Police.

The festival is celebrated every year at Puri. Huge, colorfully decorated chariots, are drawn by hundreds and thousands of devotees on the bada danda or the grand avenue to the Gundicha Temple, some two miles away towards the North.

After a stay for seven days, the deities return to their abode in Srimandira in Puri. (ANI)

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