Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra rolls out in Raipur

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Raipur, Jul 7 (PTI) The capital city of Chhattisgarh on Sunday witnessed the grand celebration of the Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra, marked by traditional fervour and chariot procession.

The raths (chariots) of Lord Jagannath, his brother Balbhadra and their sister Subhadra were pulled by devotees in Raipur's Gayatri Nagar area, similar to the tradition followed in Odisha.

Chief Minister Vishnu Deo Sai joined the Yatra at the temple in Gayatri Nagar. The event commenced with the ceremonial "Cherapahara" ritual, where the deity's idol was brought to the chariot, and the path was swept with a golden broom by the chief minister himself.

Following this, Sai carried the idol of Lord Jagannath to the chariot.

The ceremony featured customary rituals and special prayers to Lord Jagannath and his siblings, Balabhadra and Subhadra.

On this occasion, the chief minister emphasised the significance of this auspicious festival for Chhattisgarh, paralleling its importance to that in Odisha.

He said Lord Jagannath holds a place of profound reverence among the people of Chhattisgarh, akin to their counterparts in Odisha.

Sai said Lord Jagannath is venerated as the protector of farmers, attributing the deity's divine grace for rainfall, paddy growth, and the prosperity of farmers.

Odisha, famed for its Rath Yatra, has significantly influenced Chhattisgarh, a neighbouring state.

Temple priests highlighted the event's symbolism of the unbreakable bond between the cultures of Utkal and Dakshin Kosal.

It is believed that Lord Jagannath's original abode was Shivrinarayan in Chhattisgarh, from where He later moved to Jagannath Puri. Shivrinarayan also holds historical significance as the place where Lord Shri Ram tasted the sweet berries offered by Mata Shabari during the Treta Yuga. The temple of Nar-Narayan now stands at this location. PTI COR NSK