The 135th Lord Jagannath Rathyatra, symbolising the confluence of Indian culture and communal harmony, will be taken out from the 400-year-old Jagannath Temple in Ahmedabad on Thursday morning amidst robust security arrangements.
As many as 19 decorated elephants will take part in the procession, besides 98 trucks with tableau displaying facets of Indian culture. Specially-decorated chariots of three deities - Lord Jagannath, his brother Lord Balram and their sister Subhadra - will be pulled by over 1,000 devotees.
The yatra will be welcomed by different Muslim organisations when it will reach minority-dominated areas.
Members of these groups will distribute lemon juice and water for those who have joined the yatra. The annual festival has become a symbol of communal harmony over the last few years.
As per century-old tradition, elephants will have the first glimpse of Lord Jagannath and would lead the procession through different parts of the city.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi would perform the symbolic cleaning of the chariots of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balram and Devi Subhadra, besides the road on which they will start their journey from the temple.
The procession will pass through communally sensitive localities like Kalupur, Prem Darwaja, Delhi Chakla, Dariyapur and Shahpur.
Elaborate security arrangements have been made for the event. Around 20,000 security personnel, including those from SRP, para-military and Home Guard, will be deployed on the 14- km yatra route. For the first time GPS devices and hidden cameras will be used by the police.
On the eve of the Rathyatra, Mr Modi visited the temple and sought blessing of the Lord. He said that he prayed for a good monsoon and sought the Lord's blessings for the poor and farmers.