Thousand of devotees converged in Puri as the millennium's first Nabakalebar Rath Yatra commenced today. It is a festival when the Idols of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra, Subhadra and Sudarshan are replaced by a new ones.
Police forces pull a chariot to set in front of the Lord Jagannath temple on the eve of the annual Rath Yatra, or Chariot procession.
A man gives final touches ahead of the Ratha Yatra or the Chariot Festival. It is a festival associated with the god Jagannath and is held at Puri in the state of Odisha.
The prime ritual of the day 'Chhera Pahanra' (sweeping of the chariots) is solemnised by Puri Gajapati Dibya Singhdev followed by sprinkling of holy water and sandal.
A congregation of 50 lakh devotees are expected during the nine-day-long Rath Yatra and Suna Besha.
Elaborate security arrangements at the temple during the yatra. Over a 1,000 policemen have been deployed for crowd management.
The annual yatra, which commenced from the Puri temple, will conclude at Shree Gundicha temple on July 29, covering nearly 2.5 km distance, in nine days.