Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Jagatsinghpur, May 14:
Hundreds of devotees bid a tearful adieu to Lord Jagannath’s daru, which left Kharipadia at Raghunathpur in Jagatsinghpur district on a sagadi (cart) for the Shreemandir in Odisha’s holy town of Puri this afternoon.
Full-throated cries of “Jai Jagannath” rent the air as the sagadi carrying Lord Jagannath’s daru left the place that had become a place of pilgrimage ever since the announcement was made by the temple administration about the Lord’s daru here.
Beating of cymbals and mridangas lent a spiritual flavour to the proceedings as the daru slowly made its way through the narrow road on the river bank towards the Paradip-Cuttack highway.
Devotees were not allowed to pull the sagadi on the first leg of the holy journey in view of the treacherous road on the first leg of the journey. It was instead pulled by policemen and servitors themselves. Devotees would be allowed to pull it once it reaches the Paradip-Cuttack state highway, sources said.
The daru, which was scheduled to leave for Puri yesterday, could not start as the chaupata (logs) could not be completed in time in view of inclement weather.
While devotees at Kharipadia had tears in their eyes as they bid farewell to the daru, thousands of devotees lined the road to be taken by the sagadi anxiously waiting for the holy caravan to arrive.
The sagadi would halt at Ramkumarpur for the night today before resuming its journey through Cuttack and Bhubaneswar tomorrow afternoon.
“The daru of the Lord Jagannath was placed on the sagadi by the daitapatis at 7 AM today with traditional rituals. We are now waiting for the journey which will start between 4 PM and 5 PM”, said Binayak Dasmohapatra, Biswabasu of the Banajaga team.
Meanwhile, commissionerate police have made elaborate arrangements for the yatra of the daru sagadi.
“All big vehicles on Cuttack-Paradip road would be stopped during the yatra while Paradip-bound vehicles would be allowed to move via Chandikhol. The yatra would stop at Fakirpada near Bidyadharpur in the night on the first day of the yatra. Considering the number of devotees, special traffic arrangements would be made. If necessary, vehicular traffic on this route would be stopped,” police commissioner Dr RP Sharma told the media today.
He said big vehicles would be diverted at Manguli Square while small vehicles would be diverted to Link Road via Sikharpur Square to Cuttack during the yatra of the daru from OMP Square to Bhubaneswar. On the second day, the daru sagadi will have a night halt at Pratap Nagari and resume its journey towards Bhubaneswar the next day. During the yatra, to bus and truck will allowed to ply on the National Highway”, Sharma said.
He said 25 platoons of police would be deployed during the sagadi yatra.