Ahmedabad: The 134th rathyatra of Lord Jagannath began here on Sunday from the 400-year-old Jagannath temple in Jamalpur area amidst tight security, as devotees jostled to have the first glimpse of the deity.

As per the tradition, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi did the symbolic `road cleaning' ahead of passage of chariots of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balram and their sister, Subhadra.

"With Lord Jagannath's blessing the country and Gujarat would prosper. The lord will bless the under-privileged, the state, and the farmers of Gujarat with rains," he said.

He noted that Lord Jagannath's rathyatra is taken out at 110 places in Gujarat, and the procession in Ahmedabad has the longest tradition.

A local priest, Mahant Dilipdas Maharaj (37), is presiding over the Lord's journey this year.

In keeping with a century-old tradition, elephants had the first glimpse of Lord Jagannath, and they would lead the procession along its 14-km route.

It will pass through some communally sensitive areas, such as Kalupur, Prem Darwaja, Delhi Chakla, Dariyapur and Shahpur in the old city.

 

Agencies