Prime Minister greets people on Rathyatra

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Ahmedabad, Jun 29: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on day greeted people on the occasion of the 137th Rathyatra of Lord Jagannath and prayed for peace, prosperity and rains in the country.

"We bow to Lord Jagannath on this auspicious day. Today once again he sets out on his chariot, giving blessings to the people...My warm greetings to the people on the occasion of the Rath Yatra that would be held across India today," Modi said on the microblogging site Twitter.

"We pray to Lord Jagannath for peace, prosperity and happiness in India. May Lord Jagannath bless us with good monsoon that will help farmers," Modi said.

The chariot festival 'Rath Yatra' is celebrated on the second day of Shukla Paksha (waxing cycle of moon) in the month of Ashadh, popularly known as 'Ashadhi Bij'.

On this occasion, Lord Jagannath, his brother Lord Baldev along with their sister Subhadra are placed in the chariots and a procession is taken out in the city.

Modi, who used to perform 'Pahind Vidhi'(symbolic path cleaning on chariot of Lord Jagannath) when he was the chief minister of Gujarat, recollected the fond memories and said that he cherished that experience.

He was the only chief minister, who performed the 'Pahind Vidhi' ritual for record 12 times. "As Gujarat CM, I had the honour to perform the Pahind Vidhi ritual during the Yatra in Ahmedabad. It is an experience I really cherished," Modi tweeted.

The Rathyatra began from the over 400-year-old iconic Jagannath temple in Jamalpur area in the city amid tight security.

This time 'Pahind Vidhi' was performed by the first woman chief minister of the state Anandi Patel. The Rathyatra will traverse through about 14 kilometres route in the city.

PTI

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