Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw & Dharmendra Pradhan meet Shankaracharya in Puri

Union Ministers Ashwini Vaishnaw and Dharmendra Pradhan met Puri Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati ahead of Rath Yatra.

Puri: Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan met Puri Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati  ahead of Rath Yatra.

Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw is on a 3-day visit to Odisha. He reached Odisha on June 19. Vaishnaw proceeded towards Puri, where he inspected the Puri railway station and reviewed the arrangements made for the pilgrims in view of the world-famous Car Festival (Rath Yatra) in the evening. He will also visit the Rath Yatra venue in the forenoon on Tuesday.

Lakhs of devotees have thronged the pilgrim town Puri to witness the annual Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath and his siblings on Tuesday, which is set to roll as various rituals are being carried out.

The three majestic chariots now stand tall in front of the Singha Dwar of the temple facing East towards Gundicha temple. They have been kept ready and will be pulled by devotees this afternoon.

The Taladhwaja Rath for Lord Balabhadra, the Darpadalan Rath for Goddess Subhadra and the Nandighosa Rath for Lord Jagannath each have their own colours, height, diameter, wooden horses, guardian deities and even charioteers.

The rituals began with ‘Mangala Arati’ at 6 a.m., followed by ‘Mailam’ and ‘Vesha’, ‘Rosha Homa’ and ‘Surya Puja’ – all part of rituals. Then ‘Gopal Bhog’ and ‘Khichidi Bhog’ was offered to the deities.

‘Pahandi’ of the deities started at 9.30 a.m. while Chherapahanra of the chariots by Gajapati Dibyasingha Deb would be performed by 3.30 p.m. After fixing wooden horses to the chariots, the pulling is scheduled to start in the afternoon from 4 p.m.

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