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Puri Prepares for Two-Day Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra, starting on July 7 : President Murmu to Attend

The seaside pilgrim town of Puri is gearing up for the smooth conduct of Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra, which, for the first time in 53 years, will span two days, starting on July 7

President Droupadi Murmu is scheduled to witness the Rath Yatra on Sunday, with special arrangements made for her visit by the state government.

Officials have confirmed that the Odisha government has made extensive preparations for the festival, which is usually held in a single day. Due to specific celestial configurations, this year’s event will extend over two days, a scenario last seen in 1971.

In a departure from tradition, certain rituals involving the three sibling deities—Lord Jagannath, Devi Subhadra, and Lord Balabhadra—will be performed on a single day, Sunday. The chariots have been positioned in front of the Lion’s Gate of the Jagannath temple, from where they will be taken to the Gundicha temple, where they will remain for a week. Devotees will pull the chariots on Sunday afternoon.

This year, the Rath Yatra and related rituals like ‘Nabajouban Darshan’ and ‘Netra Utsav’ will take place on July 7. These rituals typically precede the Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra. ‘Nabajouban Darshan’ signifies the youthful appearance of the deities, who remain indoors for 15 days following ‘Snana Purnima’ (a quarantine period after their ceremonial bathing). Before this, priests perform the ‘Netra Utsav’, where the deities’ eyeballs are freshly painted.

To ensure the festival runs smoothly, the state government has put in place meticulous arrangements. Puri Collector Siddharth Shankar Swain confirmed that all rituals are proceeding smoothly and will continue as scheduled, thanks to the cooperation of all stakeholders.

Special Arrangements for Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra

Puri SP Pinak Mishra stated that 180 platoons of security personnel from both state and central governments have been deployed to manage law and order and crowd control during the festival. A green corridor is ready to transport anyone who falls ill in the crowd to the hospital.

Advanced AI-based CCTV cameras have been installed at Badadanda, the festival venue, and other key locations in Puri, according to ADG (law and order) Sanjay Kumar.

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