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Stage set for annual Rath Yatra festival in Odisha’s Puri

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Bhubaneswar: The stage is set for the annual Rath Yatra festival scheduled to be held in Odisha’s pilgrim town Puri on Sunday.

Thousands of devotees have already arrived in Puri while the district administration expects a congregation of around 10 lakh people during the festival.

Three majestic chariots – Nandighosa (Lord Jagannath), Taladwaja (Balabhadra) and Darpadalan (Subhadra) – have been kept ready before the 12th century Jagannath Temple in Puri.

The devotees will pull the three chariots on the grand road to the Gundicha Temple, about three km from the main temple, on Sunday.

The deities will go on a nine-day sojourn to the Gundicha Temple.

The state government has made several transportation facilities to ferry the devotees.

The Indian Railways has decided to run 186 special trains during the festival, said an official in the East Coast Railway.

Hundreds of police personnel have been deployed to ensure smooth conduct of the festival and have been positioned in designated areas.

Director General of Police (DGP) K.B. Singh said elaborate security arrangements have been made for the festival.

Four Inspector General (IG) rank police officials have been engaged with the deployment of 127 platoons of police and hundreds of other police officials to ensure smooth conduct of the festival, he added. (IANS)