NATIONAL NEWS

Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath begins

Puri, July 14: Lakhs of devotees on Saturday thronged this pilgrim town in Odisha to witness the annual Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath and his siblings. On this day Lord Jagannath and his two siblings — Lord Balaram and Goddess Subhadra — visit their aunt at the Gundicha Temple around three kilometres away. They travel to Gundicha temple on three giant wooden chariots that are pulled by the devotees. The rituals for the nine-day chariot festival began early on Saturday amid loud chants of Hari Bola and beating of cymbals. The Pahandi (ceremonial procession) of the deities began as the devotees waited outside the 12th century shrine to have a glimpse of the Trinity. The deities were carried out of the sanctum sanctorum to take part in the ceremonial procession. (IANS)