New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday paid obeisance to Lord Jagannath on the start of the Rath Yatra and said he hoped the lord's blessings would spread unity and joy in society.
"On this blessed day of Rath Yatra, my warm greetings to all of you. This tradition is celebrated across India with great enthusiasm and is now known all over the world," Modi said in his message.
"We pay our obeisance to Lord Jagannath, who embarks on his chariot and blesses people. With the blessings of Lord Jagannath, may the spirit of sadbhavana, unity and joy be furthered in society," he added.
The new millennium's first Nabakalebar Rath Yatra which commenced from the Puri temple in Odisha on Saturday will conclude at Shree Gundicha temple, covering a distance of nearly 2.5 km, in nine days. The yatra will conclude on July 29.
Modi also said that may the poor and farmer's attain prosperity with Lord Jagannath's grace.
He shared some photographs of the Rath Yatra of 2013 in Ahmedabad and said: "Rath Yatra brings back many memories from Gujarat."