The annual celebration of the world famous Rath Yatra (chariot festival) in Odisha’s temple town of Puri began on Wednesday morning amid tight security attracting more than 10 lakh devoees from across the country and abroad.
The festival marks the annual journey of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra, deities from the 12th century Jagannath Temple, in three colourfully decked up huge wooden chariots to the temple of Devi Gundicha (their aunt). The celebration ends nine days later with Bahuda Yatra (return journey) to the Jagannath Temple.
Elaborate security arrangements were made during the festival in view of the recent bomb attack on Bodh Gaya temple, police said.
“More than 100 platoon security forces were deployed to maintain law and order. Besides, the vessels of Indian Coast Guard will keep a watch on the coast,” Puri superintendent of police Anup Sahu said.
The police have kept bomb disposal squads ready to meet any eventuality and installed CCTV cameras at vital locations.