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Rath Yatra celebrated with equal fervour in Northeast

ANI | Updated: Jul 21, 2018 19:56 IST

Tripura [India], Jul 21 (ANI): The famous Jagannath Rath Yatra or the chariot fest is underway in different states of the country.
Keeping up the same zest and fervour, the Northeast region has also decked up and saw thousands of devotees thronging the Jagannath temple and seeking blessing on the occasion.
In Tripura, thousands of devotees thronged the Jagannath Temple located in the capital city, Agartala.
Meanwhile, similar festive fervour was witnessed in Assam's Guwahati city as well as Manipur's Imphal.
Jagannath Rath Yatra or the chariot festival commemorates Jagannath's annual visit to Gundicha temple near Balagandi Chaka Puri.
In Guwahati, lakhs of pilgrims took to the street to pull the chariot of the deities as part of the auspicious occasion.
Organized by ISKCON Guwahati, the procession started from the Ulubari Higher Secondary School playground and culminated at the Jagannath Cultural Complex at Six Mile.
The devotees believe that the chariot festival is observed across the country to unite people and foster peace and harmony in the world.
"Rath Yatra is going on in Puri so we are also celebrating it here in Guwahati. This festival depicts that in today's time when people have no time to go and visit temple, it is believed God himself comes out to shower blessings. The United Nation is making efforts to foster peace, harmony and universal brotherhood among all, so to unite people we preach Hari Naam and through this festival, we can attain it," said one of the devotees.
People from different communities of the state, dressed in their traditional dresses, performed traditional dances. Some portions from the epics were also enacted by some artists.
While, in the northeastern province of Tripura, the chariot festival was celebrated as hundreds and thousands of devotees including young and old thronged to pull the chariot of Lord Jagannath in the main temple premises located in state capital Agartala.
The hymns of 'Jai Jagannath' reverberated around the temple premises as devotees offered prayers to the deities.
In order to avoid any untoward incident and for the smooth conduct of the Rath Yatra or procession, security was tightened up across the state.
"Rath Yatra was started in Tripura by Maharaja Radha Kishore Manikya and more than 100 years back. This is one of the oldest temples here which is also more than 100 years old but Gouria Moth has taken over this temple some 45 years back. People from various communities of Hindu and other religion take part here because if one pulls the chariot then shall not be reborn and stay with the Almighty," said the chief priest of Jagannath Temple, Bhaktikamal Maharaj.
As part of Rath Yatra, the deities of Jagannath, his elder brother Balabhadra and younger sister Subhadra are taken out in a procession to Gundicha Temple and remain there for nine days.
Besides Tripura, people from other parts of the country also participated in the Jagannath Rath Yatra. The chariot festival usually takes place during the Hindu month of Ashar.
Similar festive scenes were witnessed in the Northeastern province of Manipur where Rath Yatra or Kang (in local language) was celebrated with pomp. Kang is a major festival of the Vaishnavite Meite is residing in the state.
Amidst religious rituals, dance and music, splendidly decorated rath or chariot with idols of Lord Jagannatha his brother Balarama and sister Subhadra were drawn by the devotees using ropes till the Palace Gate and were again brought back to its starting point.
Over the years, such festival has gone a long way in highlighting the cultural treasure trove of the states of the region particularly focusing on the spiritual traditions. (ANI)