The nine-day Rath Yatra celebrations began today as Lord Jagannath along with siblings Balaram and Subhadra started their journey to their aunt’s place (Gundicha Temple). The Jagannath Temple at Puri in Odisha is celebrating its 141st Rath Yatra this year amidst lakhs of devotees who have gathered at Sri Kshetra to witness the annual event.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a Tweet wished all Indians on the occasion of Rath Yatra. He wished for the country’s growth and peace and prosperity for the countrymen in his Tweet.
" May the blessings of Lord Jagannath bring peace, happiness, and prosperity to everyone’s lives.” President Ram Nath Kovind tweeted.
Hindu mythology says that Lord Jagannath is a reincarnation of Lord Vishnu and the name is derived from two words “Jagat” and “Nath” meaning “lord of the Universe”.
Celebrations are on in full swing at Ahmedabad in Gujarat where BJP President Amit Shah participated in the ‘Mangal Arti’. Shah will later address a Youth Parliament at a university in Gandhinagar. The event at Ahmedabad will also witness the presence of other dignitaries including Chief Minister Vijay Rupani. The Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel could be seen performing ‘Pahind Vidhi’ – a symbolic ritual of cleaning the way for the chariots using a golden broom.
In Odisha, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Governor Ganeshi Lal and Chief Justice of High Court Vineet Saran sought the blessings of Lord Jagannath, while Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan could be seen distributing Prasad to devotees at Bharat Vikas Parishad in Puri.
Rath Yatra celebrations are also on in the northeastern state of Manipur. The festival which goes by the name “Kang” in Manipur begins on the second day of Engen month of Manipuri lunar calendar and ends on the tenth day of the same month.
Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh has conveyed his warm greetings to the people of Manipur on the occasion of Kang. MPCC president TN Haokip and MLA Gaikhangam also conveyed their wishes to the people of the State, especially the Hindu brethren, on the occasion of Kang (Rath Yatra) festival.