Ahmedabad: Residents of Gujarat celebrated the annual Ratha Jatra at the Jagannath Temple at Adalaj in between Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar.
The chariot pulling ceremony of the Lords was hosted by the temple management body Shree Jagannath Cultural Academy and Research Centre (JCARC) with much fanfare and festive fervor.
Since Ratha Jatra was being celebrated offline after two years due to COVID-19 disruption, unusual enthusiasm and enchantment were witnessed among the devotees during the occasion. The holy day started from the dawn with the performances of the religious rituals Mangala Arati, Abakash, Mailam, worshipping the Sun, praying gatekeepers and Sahana Mela by the servitors. Around 15,000 devotees gathered to witness the festival.
Around 10 am, the four deities were taken in Pahandi to the colourfully decorated 22 feet high chariot amidst the recitals of hymns and slogans like ‘Haribol’, ‘Jai Jagannath’. Sounds of musical instruments like ghanta, kartala, mardala, jhanja and mrudanga along with the chants lifted the spirits of devotees who had assembled for the chariot pulling ceremony.
The special attraction of the event was the Pahandi journey of Devi Subhadra as it was being conducted exclusively by ladies. The revenue minister of Gujarat Rajendra S. Trivedi, chairman of JCARC Dr. Sudeep Kumar Nanda and municipal commissioner of Surat Banchhanidhi Pani did the traditional sweeping of chariot called ‘Cherrapahanra’.
The chariot was pulled at a six kilometer stretch road till Shani Temple, Swami Narayan Temple and Tree Temple and then brought back to the premises of the Temple at 4 pm. The deities were then taken back from the chariot and placed in the pandal at the community hall of temple.
People willing to have darshan of the sibling deities may do so at the pandal, informed secretary of JCARC Badri Mahapatra.
The festival was arranged and managed by the trustees and committee members of the Temple including chairman Dr. Sudeep Kumar Nanda, member secretary Badri Mahapatra, members Hare Krushna Dash, Maheshwar Sahu, Dr. Nibedita Sahu, Leela Das, Rabi Panda, Ashok Samal, Satya Mishra, Narayan Swain, Ajay Das, Mahendra Das, Rohit Nayak, Nigmananda Das, Basant Panda and Ganesh Nayak.