Bhubaneswar: Lakhs of devotees today thronged holy town of Puri, to witness the world famous Rath Yatra (Car Festival) of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and their sister Devi Subhadra.
The festival marks the annual journey of the three deities from the 12th century Jagannath temple in three splendidly decorated wooden chariots, pulled with ropes by devotees amid chanting of hymns, to the Gundicha temple, around three km away.
The festival ends nine days later when the deities make their way back home to the Jagannath temple. The return journey, known as Bahuda Jatra, will be organised on July 22.
Meanwhile, the state government has made elaborate security arrangement. Security personnel have been deployed in strength to maintain the law and order. Besides CCTV cameras have been placed at vantage points, bomb squad, anti-Maoists squads and sharp shooters have been deployed in the city.