VISAKHAPATNAM: Century’s first Nabakalebara Yatra began in Puri Saturday. Marking the occasion in the city, RINL conducted Rath Yatra (car festival) with devotional fervour and gaiety amidst ‘Jai Jagannath’ chanting by the devotees accompanied by playing of mridang, cymbals and blowing of conches in steel town ship, Ukkunagaram, Saturday.
RINL CMD P Madhusudan along with his wife Gowri Annapurna performed various holy rituals like inviting the Lord Jagannath to the Chariot and performing ‘Chherapanhara’ (sweeping of the Chariot with Golden Broom). A large number of devotees pulled the Chariot along the streets of Ukkunagaram with dance troupes. Directors (Projects) PC Mahapatra, (Operations) DN Rao and (Finance) TVS Krishna Kumar were present.
The day ended with various cultural programmes.
The festival, a combination of spiritual, cultural and social activities, will culminate on July 28.
ISKCON organised Rath Yatra covering all the important junctions in the city. AU vice-chancellor GSN Raju flagged off the yatra at Sampath Vinayaka temple, Asilmetta, and the yatra concluded at Gurajada Kalakshetra via Dabagardens, Jagadamba and Ramnagar. MLA P Vishnukumar Raju, former MLA M Vijaya Prasad, ISKCON Visakha city wing president Samba Das were present.