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 first servitor of Lord Jagannath Puri King Gajapati Dibyasingha Deb, performed the Chhera Panhara ritual, which is considered to be one of the most important rituals.
As per ritual, he swept the floors of the three chariot with a golden broom.
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 12.