Lakhs witness Lord Jagannath's return car festival | india | Hindustan Times
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Lakhs witness Lord Jagannath's return car festival

Lakhs of devotees from across the country and abroad thronged the pilgrim town of Puri today to witness 'Bahuda Yatra', the return car festival of Lord Jagannath amidst tight security.

india Updated: Jul 21, 2010 19:25 IST

Lakhs of devotees from across the country and abroad thronged the pilgrim town of Puri today to witness 'Bahuda Yatra', the return car festival of Lord Jagannath amidst tight security.

Winding up their nine-day annual sojourn to their auht's abode, Lord Jagannath, elder brother Lord Balabhadra and their sister Devi Subhadra set off their return journey to the 12th century shrine on three majestic wooden chariots.

A host of special rituals were performed before the deities moved out of the Gundicha temple to the three colourfully decorated chariots for the return journey as sound of 'Jai Jagannath' rent the air in the seashore town.

The three deities were then taken to the chariots in an elaborate royal ritual called 'Pahandi' to the beating of gongs, cymbals and konch shells as devotees and 'sevayats' (worshippers) jostled to have a closer look and to touch them.

Jagannath was ensconsed in the largest of the chariots, 45-feet high 'Nandighosh' which has 16 huge wooden wheels. The chariot of Balabhadra was the 14-wheeled 44 feet high 'Taladhwaja' and that of Subhadra known as 'Darpadalan' with 12 wheels and standing 43 feet high.

The Gajapati King of Puri, Divya Singha Deb arrived from his palace on a silver-plated palanquin for the 'Chhera Pahanra' ritual. He offered prayers to the deity and then swept the platforms with a golden broom and sprinkled flowers and fragrant water.

The giant chariots were pulled by devotees on "bada danda", the grand avenue up to the lion's gate in front of Sri Jagannath temple where they would be stationed till Friday.

The deities would be decorated with 'suna besha', golden attire, tomorrow on the chariots, which is expected to attract a large number of devotees.