Guj: 134th Lord Jagannath Chariot festival begins on Jul 3

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Narendra Modi
Ahmedabad, Jul 3: The 134th Chariot Festival of Lord Jagannath began on Sunday, Jul 3 in Ahmedabad from the 400 year-old Jagannath Temple amid tight security arrangements.

The main chariots are closely followed by colourfully decked-up elephants, trucks, devotees on foot, acrobats and gymnasts. Devotees jostled to have the first glimpse of the deity.The three main chariots of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balram and Subhadra will be pulled by 1,000 devotees.

Following the tradition, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi did the symbolic 'road cleaning" ahead of passage of chariots of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balram and their sister, Subhadra.

"We are carrying out a chariot procession in the city today. We seek blessing for our city from Lord Jagannath, we want that our state and country should prosper and Lord Jagannath will help the poor people," said Modi.

"The god will satisfy the farmers with good rains. The chariot procession of Lord Jagannath passes through 110 places in Gujarat," he added. A local priest, Mahant Dilipdas Maharaj (37), is presiding over the Lord"s journey this year.

Elaborate security arrangement has been made for the Rathyatra. Over 15,000 policemen including 36 IPS officers have been deployed to keep a tight vigil, police said.

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