Puri: Rath Yatra in Puri kick-started on Friday as the holy trinity of Lords Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Goddess Subhadra have begun to make their way to their individual chariots in a ceremonial procession ritual called the Pahandi.
The procession occurs in Dhadi Pahandi or the movement of the idols in a group. In this kind of procession, the deities take rest whenever required during the journey to their respective chariots. All the deities move simultaneously one after the other in close succession.
Lord Sudarshan, considered to be the pilot god, led the ceremonial procession as per the religious tradition. He is followed by the Lord Balabhadra, then Devi Subhadra, and lastly Lord Jagannath are taken out from the Inner Sanctum.
Where Lord Sudarshan and Devi Subhadra are carried on the servitors’ shoulders without much effort, the idols of Jaga-Balia are pulled, pushed, and even dragged by their servitors and are usually accompanied by holy chants. Their journeys are marked with the rhythmic swaying of their Tahiya or the traditional headgear. The idols make little stops along the way till the idols reach the chariots.
Prior to Pahandi, morning rituals of Arati, Avakasha, Rosa homa (puja in the temple kitchen), Surya and Dwarapala Puja, Sakala Dhupa (morning offering-specially cooked food), Mangal Arpana, Doralagi, Puspanjali and Tuli offering, Mailam Lagi, unfastening of deities and preparation for Pahandi was conducted inside the temple premises as per the rituals.