BHUBANESWAR: Thousands of devotees turned up to take part in Bahuda Yatra and pull the chariots of Lord Jagannath, Devi Subhadra and Lord Balabhadra as the annual nine-day sojourn of the Trinity came to an end in the Capital City on Sunday.
While devotees pulled three chariots of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) from the Gundicha temple near Unit VIII DAV Public School, Bahuda Yatra was also celebrated at Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), Jagannath temple at Regional College of Management, Patiagarh and Siripur with ceremonial splendour.
The ISKCON Bahuda Yatra started with rituals like ‘Mangala Arati’ at 7.30 am followed by ‘Chhera Pahanra’ at 2.30 pm. The tugging of chariots started at around 3 pm in the presence of Commissioner of Police RK Sharma, Mayor Ananta Jena and Deputy Mayor K Shanti.
While nearly one lakh devotees followed the chariots with chanting of hymns and ‘shlokas’, the ISKCON devotees were seen leading them in groups forming ‘Sankirtan’ teams. Women devotees pulled the Darpadalana, the chariot of Devi Subhadra, and all the chariots reached the main temple in Nayapalli by 6.15 pm. Similarly, the festival was celebrated peacefully at KISS amidst traditional rituals like ‘Mangala Arati’, ‘Rosha Homa’, ‘Abakasha’, ‘Surya Puja’ since early morning as per the tradition of Shri Jagannath Temple at Puri. The ‘Chera Pahanra’ on the chariots was conducted by KISS founder, Achyuta Samanta. Cultural programmes were organised on the occasion on the campus.
Other parts of the City also witnessed large gathering.
Devotees pulled single chariots of the deities at Patiagarh, Siripur, Tomando, Jagmara, Niladri Vihar, Sailashree Vihar and VSS Nagar. Mini chariots were pulled by children in several lanes of the Capital.
Interestingly, all Bahuda Yatra rituals were performed by children in Old Town. Here, the chariots of Lord Jagannath and Lord Balabhadra are 20 feet and 19 feet in height respectively while of Devi Subhadra, it is 18 feet. The festivity in Old Town is organised by Shree Jagannath Rath Yatra Committee every year.
Several platoons of police force were deployed throughout the city for smooth conduct of the festival.
Meanwhile, preparations are being made by all Rath Yatra organising committees to hold ‘Suna Besha’ of the deities. The ‘Suna Besha’ of deities at ISKCON will begin at 6 pm on Monday.