Bhubaneswar: For the convenience of the pilgrims and to cater to the extra rush of passengers during the world famous Rath Yatra Festival at Puri, the Khurda Road Division of East Coast Railway has decided to run 194 special trains between July 4 (Car Festival) and July 13 (Suna Besa) excluding the existing trains coming to Puri. This was informed by ECoR Khurda Road DRM Sashikant Singh on Wednesday.
The ECoR will run 30 special trains on July 4 and 48 special trains between July 5 and July 9. Similarly, it will run 10 trains on July 10, 30 trains on July 12 (Bahuda Yatra) and 28 trains on July 13 (Suna Besa).
As many as 48 special trains will ply between Nayagarh and Khurda during the annual car festival.
To handle the large number of pilgrims, 60 additional ticket counters will be opened.
Considering the large congregation of devotees, elaborate security arrangement have been made at the Puri Railway station.
Every year, idols of the three deities – Lord Jagannath, his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra – are taken out of the 12th century temple in chariots to another shrine called Gundicha, three km away both in Puri town.
Nine days later, the chariots make their return journey known as Bahuda Jatra, which will be organised on July 12 this year.
A glimpse of the deities is considered auspicious and around a million devotees throng to attend this annual procession. The chariots are pulled with ropes by devotees amid chants of hymns.