New Delhi : 43rd Rath Yatra Festival celebrated at the main Jagannath Temple of the National Capital Region at Hauz Khas Village in New Delhi amidst devotional and spiritual fervour. The managing body of the temple Shree Neelachal Seva Sangha kept this year’s celebration at a symbolic level observing the covid protocol strictly. Commencing from the wee hours of the day all the religious rituals have been performed in a solemn and simple manner. At about 11 o’clock in morning the four deities were taken in Pahandi procession to the colourfully decorated chariot with the recitals of hymns, roaring of slogans like haribol and Jai Jagannath, sounding of Huluhuli, blowing of conch and playing of musical instruments such as Ghanta, Kartala, Mardala, Jhanja and Mrudanga by the limited number of servitors and organisers. Secretary of Neelachala Seva Sangha and Renowned Philanthropist Rabindra Nath Pradhan conducted the traditional service of sweeping on the chariots called ‘chherapahanra’. After that the chariot was pulled till 500 metres in the grand road in front of the temple and then was returned back to the premises of the temple. The Deities remained on the chariot for public viewing till evening. At about 9.30 p.m. in the night all the four deities were taken to the makeshift aunt house at the basement of the temple.
Union Education, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Minister Dharmendra Pradhan was present during the ceremony with family and worshipped the Gods and Goddess on the sacred chariot. Speaking on the occasion Pradhan said, “the revered Rath yatra is not just a Festival, but a transcendential experience that binds us together”. The newly inducted Minister for Railways, Telecommunication and IT, Ashwini Baishnaw also participated in the ceremony and had an auspicious glimpse of the Lord of the universe from the chariot. Paying his obeisance shri Vaishnaw observed that the Blessings of Lord Jagannath has given him the opportunity to serve the Nation. The Entire arrangement was smoothly executed and well managed by the members of the Neelachala Seva Sangha like Abhaya Pradhan, Ashok Pradhan, Khirod Patra, Gajendra Prasad Samanta, Abhiram Sutar, Jitendra Mohapatra, Ajay Pradhan, Deepak Rath, Pankaj Mohanty, Nisidh Kumar Dash, Sarat Kumar Dehury, Rankanidhi Sahu and Bijay Sahu.