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Jagannath Rath Yatra 2024: Rituals Begin for Puri Procession

The annual Lord Jagannath’s Rath Yatra will begin in Odisha’s Puri today. This year, due to specific celestial arrangements, the religious event will go on for two days. President Droupadi Murmu is expected to witness the Rath Yatra in Puri, along with millions of devotees from across India.

The Odisha government has made elaborate arrangements for smooth and timely conduct of the annual festival. Special security arrangements will be in place for the President’s visit to the festival. While a VIP zone has been planned for the Odisha governor, chief minister, Union ministers and other dignitaries, a buffer zone has been planned for the President, ADG (law and order) Sanjay Kumar told news agency PTI.

Usually a one-day religious event, the Rath Yatra was last held for two days in 1971. During the Yatra, rituals related to the Hindu deities – Lord Jagannath, Devi Subhadra and Lord Balabhadra – take place.

Also known as the Chariot Festival, the Yatra marks the Holy Trinity’s journey to their maternal aunt, Goddess Gundicha Devi’s Temple, and concludes with their return after eight days. Ahead of the Yatra, the chariots have been parked in front of the Lion’s Gate of the Jagannath temple from where they would be taken to Gundicha temple where the Raths will stay for a week.

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