Thousands throng as Bahuda Yatra begins in Odisha

Bhubaneswar, July 14 – Thousands of devotees on Thursday thronged the holy city of Puri to witness Bahuda Yatra, that marks the return of Lord Jagannath and his siblings from Gundicha temple to Srimandir.

The devotees congregated in the holy town since early morning to seek blessings.

After Gajapati Dibyasingh Deb, the erstwhile king of Puri, performed ‘Chhera Pahanra’ or sweeping on the chariots, the pulling of giant wooden chariots of the deities started in the afternoon.

Director General of Police K.B. Singh said elaborate security arrangements have been made for the smooth conduct of the festival.

The Bahuda Yatra marks the return of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, Lord Sudarshan and Devi Subhadra.

The deities go to Gundicha temple during the Rath Yatra, which marks the journey of the deities from the 12th-century shrine to the temple of Devi Gundicha, their aunt.

On the ninth day of the festival, Bahuda Jatra, the grand return journey takes place. On the way back they stop for a short while and partake of poda pitha, a type of cake made of rice, lentils, jaggery and coconut, offered by their aunt, mausima, said the official website of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA).

Temple spokesperson Laxmidhar Pujapanda said the rituals of the deities started as per schedule.

The Suna Besha (golden attire) of the deities would be performed on their respective chariots on Friday.