JAJPUR:The annual sojourn of Lord Jagannath, Devi Subhadra and Lord Balabhadra at Gadamadhupur in the district was a huge attraction with a woman member of the royal family performing the rituals on the chariot.
Aparna Dhir Singh Bharadwaj (35), scion of Gadamadhupur royal family performed ‘Chhera Pahanra’ and other ceremonial rituals of the Trinity.
Aparna has been performing the ritual for the last four years bringing in a change in the 400-year-old tradition of the family. In absence of a male heir, Aparna was coronated queen after the demise of her father Raja Birabara Krunshaprasad Dhir Singh.
Here, the Rath Yatra is celebrated as per the rituals in Puri. After completion of Mangala Arati, Abakash and Sakala Dhupa of the three deities, ‘pahandi’ started at 2.30 pm from the sanctum sanctorum and pulling of chariots began at 3 pm. More than 10,000 devotees in and around Gadamadhupur thronged the royal temple to participate in chariot pulling.
At Chhatia, the three chariots cover the longest distance of 14 km from Chhatia to Badaghumuri in the district to reach Mausi Maa temple. The chariots rolled for eight km on National Highway-5.
For the first time Rath Yatra was organised at Bhalukhai in Dharmasala. The festival was also celebrated at Sukinda, Jajpur, Ichhapur, Laguan, Patapur, Bahadalapur, Bari, Haripur, Kuakhia, Narasinghpur, Barabati, Brahmabarada, Binjharpur and Balarampur in the district.