Jajpur in Odisha keeps its unique Rath Yatra tradition alive

The annual sojourn at Chhatia was another highlight, featuring the longest chariot pulling in the state.
Rath Yatra image used for representation
Rath Yatra image used for representation

JAJPUR: The Jajpur district on Sunday celebrated the car festival, the annual sojourn of the holy Trinity — Lord Balabhadra, Lord Jagannath, and Devi Subhadra. Unlike other places, Rath Yatra is unique in Dharmasala and Gadamadhupur due to the ceremonial sweeping, known as ‘Chhera Pahanra,’ performed by local dignitaries.

In Dharmasala, the Chhera Pahanra is conducted by the IIC of Dharmasala police station since 2016. This year, IIC Tapan Kumar Nayak performed the ceremonial sweeping on the chariot. “It is a great privilege for me to be a servant of the Lord,” said Nayak.

Similarly, the Rath Yatra in Gadamadhupur was a major attraction with Aparna Dhir Singh Bharadwaj, a member of the royal family, performing the Chhera Pahanra. The pulling of the chariot began at 5 pm, with thousands of devotees participating.

The annual sojourn at Chhatia was another highlight, featuring the longest chariot pulling in the state. The three chariots for the Trinity were pulled from Chhatia to Badaghumuri, covering about 12 km, including 8 km along National Highway 16.

A large number of people, including police personnel, participated in pulling the chariots to their destination at the Mausima temple.

Rath Yatra was also celebrated in various other locations in the district, including Sukinda, Jajpur town, Ichhapur, Naguan, Bahadalapur, Bari, Haripur and Kuakhia.

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