- CM Rupani performed the ‘Pahind vidhi’ at Jagannath temple in Jamalpur early on Monday morning; was accompanied by deputy CM Nitin Patel and Home Minister Pradipsinh Jadeja
Ahmedabad: The 144th Jagannath Rath Yatra rolled out from the Jagannath Temple in Jamalpur early on Monday morning, also the Ashadhi Beej (second day of the Gujarati month of Ashadh). Shrouded in uncertainties until recently, the procession did commence, but with the usual grandeur missing.
Keeping with the tradition, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani swept the stretch before the chariots with the golden broom and performed the ‘Pahind vidhi’. This is the fifth consecutive time that Rupani performed the ritual.
He was accompanied by Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel and Home Minister Pradipsinh Jadeja in offering prayers to the deities.
The chariots of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balram and their sister Subhadra then rolled out into the city for a 19-km procession amid several layers of security. Only those servitors who had tested negative for Covid-19 were allowed to pull the chariots. Since morning, section 144 had been imposed on the entire route of the rath yatra.
This year, the rath yatra was allowed on the streets with strict adherence to Covid protocol in view of the decline in daily number of cases and the positivity rate.
“The rath yatra has been organized amid Covid protocol because of the pandemic. We pray to Lord Jagannath to take us out of this pandemic,” said Rupani.
With no devotee presence or other tableaus slowing them down, the chariots moved quickly throughout the route. The curfew was removed after the procession.
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“We have made complete arrangements for people to sit and home and watch the entire rath yatra,” said Rupani, appealing to people to avoid coming out of their homes to see the procession.
Ahmedabad city mayor Kirit Parmar, Jagannath temple priest Mahant Dilipdasji Maharaj, trustee Mahendra Jha and other leaders were also present at the temple.
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