Amid tight security arrangements, the Chariot of Lord Jagannath rolled on the roads, where lakhs of devotees sought divine blessings during the Rath Yatra which has begun today.
Rath Yatra or chariot festival is celebrated by Hindus on the second day of Sukla Paksha (waxing cycle of moon) in the month of Ashadh. While the king of Puri performed the rituals before the journey kicked off, the new chief minister of Gujarat, Anandi Patel performed the rituals in Ahmedabad.
The 'Pahind-Vidhi' (symbolic path cleaning on chariot of Lord Jagannath) was performed after which the annual rath yatra of Lord Jagannath, elder brother Lord Baldev and their sister Devi Subhadra begun. As per tradition, the Chief Minister performs this ritual.
In keeping with a century-old tradition, elephants will have the first glimpse of Lord Jagannath, and they would lead the procession along its 14-km route. The procession would comprise 18 elephants, 100 trucks, 30 religious congregations, 18 singing troupes, three chariots and seven cars.
In Ahmedabad, it passed through some communally sensitive areas, such as Kalupur, Prem Darwaja, Delhi Chakla, Dariyapur and Shahpur in the old city. In a symbolic move to express the feelings of "brotherhood", the leaders of Muslim community earlier on Saturday presented a replica of Lord's chariot to Jagannath temple authority.
Tight security arrangements have been done in the city, as the Rath Yatra passes through communally sensitive areas of the city. To avoid any attempts to breach communal harmony in the city, police watched the narrow lanes of sensitive areas with 'Netra' - an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle(UAV)."
(With agency inputs)