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PM Narendra Modi Wishes Nation On Occasion Of Rath Yatra

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday wished the nation on the occasion of Rath Yatra. "On the occasion of Rath Yatra, my warmest greetings to you all. May Lord Jagannath continue to shower his blessings on everyone," he tweeted. "May the blessings of Lord Jagannath lead to development of villages, well-being of poor & farmers and take India to new heights of progress," he added.

The world famous Rath Yatra or chariot festival of Lord Jagannath will begin today at Puri in Odisha amid tight security. The three gigantic colourfully decked up wooden chariots of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra have been kept ready near the Jagannath temple to be pulled by ropes by thousands of devotees.

Rath Yatra is an annual celebration, marking the annual journey of the deities from the 12th century Jagannath Temple in the chariots to the temple of Devi Gundicha, their aunt. The celebration ends nine days later with Bahuda Yatra or return journey to their temple, which will take place on July 14.

Meanwhile, in Ahmedabad, the 139th edition of Lord Jagannath's rath yatra began today amid tight security. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah offered his prayers at the Jgannath Temple here. The rath yatra, having chariots of Lord Jagannath, his brother Balbhadra and sister Subhadra, will roll out from the 400-year old Jagannath temple at Jamalpur in Ahmedabad.

As the procession will pass through some communally sensitive areas, more than 18,000 security personnel of local police and para-military forces have been deployed at strategic locations along the route. The celebration of the holy Hindu festival is done in a grand manner in the Jagannath Puri temple, one of the four Hindu shrines, in Odisha. Hundreds of devotees flock to the beach town during the celebration.

The festival is a celebration of Lord Jagannath travelling with his siblings, Lord Balbhadra and deity Shubhadra, to the temple of Queen Gundicha. Famous sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik has created 100 sand chariots for setting a new record on the occasion of Jagannath Rathyatra at Puri Beach in Odisha.

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