The Nabakalebara Rath Yatra has begun in the temple town of Puri in Odisha. At least 50 lakh devotees are taking part in this event. This year’s Rath Yatra is more auspicious as it is termed Naba Kalebar Rath Yatra, which happens once in 12 to 19 years. In this it is believed the deities renew their physical form hence the name Naba Kalebar or re-emergence.
Around 9,000 police personnel have been deployed. Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent a letter as well as the traditional offering (prasad) of green gram (moong), blackberries (jamun) and mangoes to the Jagannath temple, on the occasion of Lord Jagannath’s Nabakalebara Rath Yatra.
Pilgrims on Friday poured into Odisha’s temple town of Puri, with just a few hours to go for the century’s first Nabakalebara Rath Yatra. This year the old bodies of the deities at Puri temple have been replaced by new ones made of Neem wood every devotee will have the full opportunity to connect with lord jagannath, lord balbadhra and goddess subhadra.
Even as the ceremonial chariots get the final touches the administration has left no stone unturned to ensure the event is a success. From insurance cover of 5 lakhs for pilgrims to top security arrangements and a brand new modern bus terminus at Malatipatapur Puri is all set for the grand event. 7km before Puri town, the bus terminus has been continuously receiving thousands of pilgrims from across the country.
Hundreds were seen walking along the newly refurbished 70-km long Bhubaneswar-Puri national highway to reach Puri.
The administration has made arrangement of free bus service from the bus terminus to carry pilgrims to the town, where vehicular inflow has been restricted till the Rath Yatra is over on Saturday. Vehicles are being diverted to other routes to be parked at 27 newly constructed parking lots.
The Yatra begins on 18th July and will continue for the next 9 days. Prasar Bharti has released an audio CD of bhajans celebrating Lord Jagannath recorded by Akashvani and rendered by musical greats of the 60s and 70s.
The Rath yatra marks the journey of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and goddess subhadra to the Gundicha temple where after staying 7 days the Lord returns to the Shri Mandir.