Rath Yatra schedule finalized: Chariot pulling in Puri to commence on July 7

The decision to start the chariot pulling at 5 PM on July 7 was made during a meeting at Shree Jagannath temple's Chhattisa Nijog in Puri.
Carpenters are busy making a chariot for the upcoming Rath Yatra on the Grand Road at Puri.
Carpenters are busy making a chariot for the upcoming Rath Yatra on the Grand Road at Puri. Photo | Express

BHUBANESWAR: Pulling of the three chariots of the Trinity - Nandighosha, Taladhwaja and Darpadalana - will be done at 5 pm on July 7. This was decided at the Shree Jagannath temple’s Chhattisa Nijog meeting in Puri on Monday.

With Netra Utsav, Nabajaubana and Rath Yatra falling on the same day, it was decided in the meeting that ‘agyanmala’ for the car festival will be brought from Pati Dian and not Lord Jagannath, Devi Subhadra and Lord Balabhadra. The ‘agyanmala’ and other rituals of the annual festival will be done as per the 1971 Rath Yatra schedule when last such arrangement was done in view of a specific celestial arrangement.

On July 7, temple rituals will start with ‘Mangal Alati’ at 2 am and ‘Netra Utsav Bandhapana’ would be performed at 4 am. Similarly, Daitapati servitors will carry out ‘Chhenapatta Lagi Seva’ (fixing of body armour on the deities to bear the stress during ‘pahandi’) from 7.30 am to 12 pm.

At the same time, ‘Ratha Pratista’ will be performed at 11 am and the deities will be brought out of the sanctum sanctorum in the ceremonial ‘pahandi’ to their respective chariots from 1.10 pm to 2.30 pm. Puri king Dibyasingha Deb will perform ‘chhera pahanra’ of the three chariots at 4 pm. Devotees will start pulling the chariots at 5 pm.

Members of the nijog said usually, pulling of chariots begins at 3 pm but given this year’s special circumstances, the servitors have been requested to finish all rituals by 4.30 pm so that pulling can begin by 5 pm. “Chariots are not pulled after sunset. If they do not reach Gundicha temple by then, pulling will resume on July 8,” said a member.

Chief administrator of the temple Vir Vikram Yadav said the Chhattisa Nijog has cleared the Rath Yatra schedule and it will be approved by the temple managing committee on Tuesday. “We are hoping that with the blessings of the Trinity and cooperation of all servitors, Rath Yatra will be conducted smoothly,” he added.

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