Bhubaneswar: Braving intermittent heavy rain, lakhs of devotees from across the country on Sunday thronged Odisha’s holy town of Puri to witness Bahuda Yatra, or the return car festival of the deities of Sri Jagannath temple.
The deities “Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, Lord Sudarshan and Devi Subhadra were taken to the chariots after holding ‘Pahandi’ (ceremonial procession) by the temple servitors from the Gundicha temple.
Bahuda Yatra is the journey of the three chariots of the deities to Sri Jagannath Temple from Sri Gundicha Temple. The three deities were on a nine-day sojourn at Gundicha temple.
Puri Gajapati Dibyasingh Deb solemnized ‘Chhera Pahanra’ (sweeping of chariots) in the afternoon and after that the devotees started pulling the colourfully decorated chariots on the 2.5 km grand road at around 4 p.m.
Puri Superintendent of Police Ashish Singh said elaborate security arrangements were made for the Bahuda Yatra.
Meanwhile, one person died due to suffocation while he was busy in ‘Naam Sankirtan’ on the grand road amid the congregation of lakhs of people to have a glimpse of the deities.
Puri hospital sources confirmed he was a cardiac patient.
The return of the deities follows the same rituals as performed during the Ratha Yatra.
The deities will remain in their respective chariots parked at Singhdwar (Lion’s gate) in front of the Jagannath temple after the Bahuda Yatra concludes.
On Monday, there will be Sunabessha, golden attire of the deities, on the chariots itself.