Narendra Modi flags off Rathyatra
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the 131st 'Rathyatra' of Lord Jagannath early on Friday morning from the deity's temple in Ahmedabad.
Thousands of devotees joined the procession, beginning from Jamalpur, as it started its journey through the 14-kilometre long route including some communally sensitive regions in the old city area.
The 'Rathyatra', oldest in the state, had devotees line up alongside the chariots of Lord Jagannath, brother Balram and sister Shubhadra.
All the three chariots bear strong resemblance to the chariots of Jagannathpuri in Orissa.
Colourfully adorned elephants, trucks, motor vehicles, and pilgrims closely follow the main chariots on foot, acrobats and gymnasts.
The procession includes 16 elephants, 98 trucks, 30 Akhadas (local gyms), 18 Bhajan Mandlis, music bands and devotees of foot and around 2000 sadhus from across the country.
Tribal folk dancers from Dangs district were also seen dancing alongside the procession. More than 35,000 kg of 'prasad' has been prepared for distrubution among devotees on the auspicious day.
The state government for this high profile event also has made adequate secutiry arrangements.