Every year lakhs of pilgrims thronged Puri to have the glimpse of Lord Jagannath riding on his chariot with elder brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra. The similar enthusiasm for Ratha Yatra has been witnessed today with the arrival of over 3 lakh devotes to the temple town of Puri.

Commenting on the ongoing influx of tourists in Puri, Mr. Laxmidhar Pujapanda, public relation officer (temple administration) said “More than three lakh devotees have already reached the town, around 56 km from the state capital Bhubaneswar by 9 am. By evening, the numbers could swell to more than a million.”

The Ratha Yatra festival marks the annual procession of three deities from the 12th century Jagannath temple in three colorful wooden chariots by the devotees to the Gundicha temple. The pulling of the Ratha cart by devotees epitomizes the endeavors of the local residents of Vrindavan to bring Krishna, Balram and Subhadra back to their home town from Kurukshetra.

A glimpse of these three deities is considered auspicious and millions of devotees visit the town to partake in this cart pulling procession. One such example of devotion has been seen in Jaya Devi who is unable to walk for three years but still has come all the way from Nayagarh with his grandson to witness Jagannath yatra.

The nine day Ratha yatra that began today will end on 29th June marking the return journey of these three deities known as Bahuda Jatra. Looking at the thriving popularity of this Charm Dham pilgrimage tour, Jagannath Puri Yatra will soon overcome its counterparts in India.