Amid tight security Nine-day sojourn of Lord Jagannath begins

Last Modified Thursday, 4 July 2019 (16:21 IST)
Puri: Amidst tight security cover, lakhs of devotees from across
the country congregated at this pilgrim city to witness the nine-day  sojourn of the presiding deities of the Sri Jagannath temple.
Lord  Jagannath, his elder brother and their sister Devi  Subhadra, left their original abode and went to the Gundicha temple, on  their respective decorated chariot on the three km long Grand road as  chants of 'haribol' and clanging of cymbals rented the air.
Over  eight lakh devotees converged at the three-km long ''bada danda'' (grand  road) from the Lions Gate of the 12th century edifice to the Gundicha  temple to witness the grand annual world famous car festival.
Earlier  in the day, Lord Jagannath, his elder brother Lord Balavadra and sister  Devi Subhadra were offered ''gopal bhog'' (breakfast) after necessary  rituals before being taken out from the ''Ratnavedi'' of the sanctum  sanctorum in a ceremonial 'pahandi bije' to their respective  well-decorated chariots parked outside the temple.
The  temple servitors took the deities on their shoulders from the temple  amidst blowing of conch shells through Ananda Bazar and the ''Baishi  Pahacha'' to the Lions Gate under tight security.
The chariots - the red and yellow ''Nandighosha'' of Lord Jagannath  with 16 wheels, red and green ''Taladhwaja'' of Balabhadra with 14  wheels and red and black ''Devadalana'' of Devi Subhadra -with a dozen  wheels were lined up outside the temple near the Lions Gate.
As  per rituals, Lord Balavadra was first taken out of the 'ratna vedi' and  installed in the chariot called 'Taladhawaja' through the ceremonial  'pahandi bije', followed by Devi Subhadra to the 'Darpadalan Chariot'  and lastly Lord Jagannath, fondly called as 'kalia' by lakhs of  devotees, was installed in the 'Nandighosh' chariot.
The  devotees broke into frenzied shouts of ''Haribol'' and ''Jai  Jagannath'' as soon as they witnessed the deities coming out of the  temple to board the chariots to begin their nine-day sojourn to the  Gundicha temple.
Devotees waiting for hours to have  glimpse of the pahandi were in trance as soon as the lord of the  universe Jagannath came galloping out of the Simhadwar swinging his  giant floral tiara to the tunes of the musical concerts of cymbal,  Ghantas and bugle performed by the servitors.
Odissi  dancers and martial artists led the Pahandi procession. "Huluhuli", "jai  Jagannath" and other religious hymns rented the atmosphere. Devotees  were seen jostling among themselves to witness the Pahandi.(UNI)