Prime Minister Narendra Modi today tweeted to wish citizens on Rath Yatra, as devotees in Gujarat, Odisha and other parts of the country took out massive processions.
"Best wishes to everyone on the special occasion of the Rath Yatra. We pray to Lord Jagannath and seek his blessings for the good health, happiness and prosperity of everyone. Jai Jagannath," PM Modi tweeted.
In the tweet, he added two photos of his participation at the Rath Yatra in the past; in one of the photos the Prime Minister is seen in a purple attire praying amid a sea of people.
Home Minister Amit Shah also prayed at the Jagannath Temple in Ahmedabad, ahead of the annual Gujarat Jagannath Rath Yatra that coincides with the Rath Yatra in Puri, which began in the early hours today.
Mr Shah, in a white shirt and yellow overcoat, was accompanied by wife Sonal Shah; it was his first visit to the state after taking charge of the Home Ministry.
The 142nd Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath in Ahmedabad's Jamalpur - apart from the three main chariots - comprises 19 decorated elephants, 100 trucks with tableaux and members of 30 singing troupes, news agency PTI reported.
The procession will return to the temple around 8:30 pm after passing through the Old City. A multi-layered security cordon involving 25,000 personnel from different police units and paramilitary forces has been put in place. CCTVs and drone cameras are keeping watch.
In Odisha's Puri, thousands of devotees are participating at the Rath Yatra and all roads leading to the beach town have been barricaded.
The administration at Shree Jagannath Temple in Puri has launched an interactive website with information on rituals, their significance and programme schedule.
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