KENDRAPARA: The Rath Yatra returned to its glory as Brahmataladhwaja, touted to be the State’s second biggest chariot of the Holy Trinity, rolled for around 100 meters from the Baladevjew temple after two years in Kendrapara district on Friday. The festive spirit was, however, dampened with the coastal district receiving heavy rains since morning as the deities embarked on their nine-day sojourn to the Gundicha temple.
Sources said locals were left dejected as they were looking forward to the grand event which had been stalled due to the pandemic and now, could not attend due to the downpour. Stalls along the Baladevjew temple wore a deserted look while locals had their fingers crossed, apprehending that continuous rains might be a blow for their plans to pull the chariots. Local traders, who otherwise would have made brisk business during the festival, were left high and dry.
Madhu Behera, a hotel owner near the shrine, said the rain not only spoilt the spirit of the Rath Yatra but also left a cascading impact on local business. “The rains really hit us bad. Our sales dropped and the usual revelry was lacking. This is not the Rath Yatra we wished for after a two-year long break,” said Bhaskar Sahoo, a sweet stall owner.
Local residents too were left dispirited. “Due to heavy rain, we were unable to make the customary visit to the Rath Yatra and forced to remain indoors,” said Nilamadhaba Jena. Those who went to see the chariot were caught off guard as the rains lashed all of a sudden leading to chaos at the spot.Contacted, executive officer of Baladevjew temple Balabhadra Patri said,”The chariot was pulled by the devotees for a few meters and will reach Mausima temple on Saturday.”