136th Jagannath rath yatra begins amidst tight security
As per tradition, elephants had a first glimpse of Lord Jagannath and led the procession, which set off from the over 400 year-old iconic Jagannath temple in Jamalpur area.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi performed the 'Pahind Vidhi' (symbolic cleaning of the path for chariot of Lord Jagannath) for the rath yatra, after which the procession of Lord Jagannath, Lord Baldev and their sister Subhadra began.
"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 his glimpse to the people," Modi said.
Modi said he was fortunate that he has repeatedly got a chance to bow at the feet of the deity to seek his blessings. "All of us should pray to Lord Jagannath that this nation should move ahead towards peace, sadhbhavna (goodwill), unity, delight and prosperity.
"The monsoon season has begun and with the blessings of Lord Jagannath, I pray that the entire country receives a good rainfall so that our farmers, villages and the poor can benefit," he said.
According to a temple trustee, Modi performed the traditional 'Pahind Vidhi' ceremony for a record 12th time.
The rath yatra entourage will pass through different parts of the city and cover a distance of 14-kms. The rath yatra will travel through some sensitive areas of the city like Kalupur, Prem Darwaja, Delhi Chakla, Dariyapur and Shahpur in the old city.