Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi performed rituals amid tight security to flag off the traditional Jagannath yatra from a 400-year-old temple in Ahmedabad today.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi flags off Jagannath rath yatra.
Mr Modi said he was fortunate that he has repeatedly got a chance to bow at the feet of the deity to seek his blessings.
Mr Modi prayed for a good monsoon for farmers and for "peace, brotherhood and growth" in the country after pulling out the chariot of Lord Jagannath from the temple.
A link on Facebook allowed people to witness the beginning of the world-famous yatra.
Eight teams of Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS), too, are part of the security arrangements.
Two Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) called the Netra or "eye" hovered as Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi performed rituals.
The UAVs, also used recently in rescue operations in Uttarakhand, are a new addition to the security arrangements.
In addition to the UAVs, 20 Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras have been installed at various places.
The rath yatra entourage will pass through 127 localities in the city - including some sensitive areas like Kalupur, Prem Darwaja, Delhi Chakla, Dariyapur and Shahpur in the old city - and cover a distance of 14 kilometres.
"Ahmedabad's Jagannath temple rath yatra is famous world over. Since the last 136 years, this tradition is going on and once again, Lord Jagannathji is out on a (nagar charya) city tour to give a glimpse to the people," Mr Modi said.