Jagannath Yatra, Eid likely to fall on same day | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Jagannath Yatra, Eid likely to fall on same day

The Shree Jagannath Seva Mandal is gearing up to hold its 23th annual rath yatra on July 18, and at the same time pulling all stops to ensure peaceful festivities, as the event is likely to fall on the same day as Eid.

mumbai Updated: Jul 17, 2015 22:33 IST
HT Correspondent

The Shree Jagannath Seva Mandal is gearing up to hold its 23th annual rath yatra on July 18, and at the same time pulling all stops to ensure peaceful festivities, as the event is likely to fall on the same day as Eid.

Eid ul’ Fitr will be celebrated on July 18 or July 19, depending upon the sighting of the moon. Hemant K Sahu, spokesperson for the group that manages the Jagannath Mandir at Sakinaka, said the yatra, like every year, will begin from Safed Pul at around 4pm, pass through the Sakinaka junction and conclude at Gundecha Mandir at 90 Feet Road.

“This 1.2km yatra is attended by over 25,000 people. If the weather remains as it is and does not rain, we are expecting the number to surge,” said Sahu.

The yatra, which was initiated in the area by textile mill workers some four decades ago, is the largest Jagannath yatra in Mumbai, and is on the lines of the famous chariot festival of Lord Jagannath held annually in Puri, Orissa. Interestingly, the rath, which is made in strict accordance with ancient specifications and is pulled by several thousand devotees at a time, will be kept at the Gundecha temple for nine days, before returning to the Jagannath temple on July 25.

About the event happening on the same day as Eid, Sahu, said, “There have never been any problems during the yatra. But still, to be on the safer side, we have increased the number of volunteers to about 200, who will keep an eye on the celebrations.

Dharmadhikari Avinash, senior inspector at Sakinaka police station, said, “We are very conscious about the fact that the two festivals are falling on the same date. Separately, we have had meetings with maulanas in the area and the Mandal. We have twice surveyed the yatra’s route, which passes through a congested locality.” Avinash added that a tighter security is in place this time around, with stricter parking restrictions and a deployment of 140 cops.