Bahuda Yatra, the return Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath, was celebrated on Wednesday in Odisha’s Puri with devotees pulling the three chariots – Taladhwaja, Darpadalana, and Nandighosha – of the deities back to the Jagannath temple from another shrine three kilometers away.
After completing their nine-day sojourn at the Shree Gundicha temple, Lord Jagannath and his siblings Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra reached the Singha Dwar (Lion’s Gate of the 12th-century temple) mounted on their respective chariots. Shree Gundicha Temple is considered their birthplace. The deities remained at this temple for seven days as part of the festival.
Lord Balabhadra’s Taladhwaja was the first to arrive in front of the gate, followed by Devi Subhadra’s Darpadalana and Nandighosa chariot of Lord Jagannath.
Lakhs of devotees participated in the festival to the chants of ‘Haribol, Jai Jagannath’ and sang devotional songs.
During the procession, the chariots stopped for a while near the temple of the maternal aunt of Lord Jagannath. The deities were offered ‘Poda Pitha’, a cake made of coconuts, rice, jaggery, and lentils.
The chariots then rolled towards the main temple. However, Lord Jagannath’s Nandighosh chariot stopped for a while near the Puri Gajapati’s palace Shree Nahar for the Lakshmi Narayan Bheta ritual. The ritual was conducted by Gajapati Maharaja Dibya Singha Deb and sevayats of the temple.
Amid festivities and joy, some people were injured and hospitalised after the rope of one of the chariots snapped during pulling and they fell on the road. The condition of all the injured persons is said to be stable.