Lord Jagannath's Rath Yatra ends peacefully in Ahmedabad

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Ahmedabad, Jul 4 (UNI) The 131st annual Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath concluded peacefully as it returned to century-old Jagannath Temple in Jamalpur area of the city tonight.

The famous chariot festival ended after a 16-hour long journey of three main chariots -- Lord Jagannath (Krishna), his elder brother Lord Balram and their sister Subhadra. During the course of 35 km-long traditional route, it covered major thoroughfares including that of the old walled city of Ahmedabad.

The Rath Yatra began this morning from the Temple at 0700 hrs amid unprecedented security. It was flagged off by Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

The Yatra proceeded amidst chanting and shouting of ''Jai Ranchhod, Makhan Chor'' and ''Mandirma Kaun Chhe, Raja Ranchhod Chhe'' (Who is in the temple, it is King Ranchhod) by thousands of Hindu devotees from the historical Temple.

It did not encounter any major untoward incidents on its route, barring two incidents, when a bolt of one of the wheels of Subhadra's chariot wore out in Saraspur area in afternoon and in Shahpur area in the evening.

Nearly 20 lakh people witnessed the grand journey of Chariot Festival. During the procession, city police received nearly a dozen complaints about separation of chidren from their parents.

Similarly, Rath Yatras were taken out from many major cities and towns of Gujarat by the devotees of Lord Jagannath this morning.

(Eds: Pick up suitably from earlier 'Yatra series') UNI MP SSS VKG SLD RK2303

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