JAJPUR/KENDRAPARA : The districts of Jajpur and Kendrapara are all set to host their unique Rath Yatras on Saturday. In Jajpur, 40-year-old Aparna Dhir Singh, the scion of the Gadamadhupur royal family, will perform the ‘Chhera Pahanra’ of chariot. Aparna has been performing the ritual for the last 10 years, bringing in a change in the 400-year-old tradition of the family. In absence of a male heir, Aparna was coronated as king after the demise of her father Raja Birabara Krunshaprasad Dhir Singh in 2007.
The annual sojourn of Lord Jagannath, Devi Subhadra and Lord Balabhadra is celebrated as per the rituals in Puri. Unlike other places, Rath Yatra in Dharmasala is observed in adherence to a different tradition. The ‘Chhera Pahanra’ on the chariot is conducted by IIC of Dharmasala police station since 2016. This year, IIC Umakanta Nayak will perform the ceremonial sweeping on the chariot.
In Kendrapara, the festival will be celebrated at Tulasi Khetra. The 64-feet-long chariot of Lord Baladevjew is the State’s second tallest chariot. In grandeur and popularity, the Rath Yatra of Tulasi Khetra stands next to Puri Rath Yatra.