The 146th Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath began with great fervor and enthusiasm in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad city. The event witnessed a massive gathering of devotees who eagerly lined up along the 18-kilometer route to catch a glimpse of the deity. This year, the Gujarat Police implemented innovative security measures by utilizing 3D mapping technology to monitor the entire procession route and deploying anti-drone technology to prevent unauthorized drone usage during the event.
Chief Minister’s Participation:
To mark the auspicious occasion, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel performed the symbolic ritual known as ‘Pahind Vidhi.’ This ritual involves using a golden broom to ceremoniously clean the path for the chariots. After the Chief Minister’s participation, the chariots of Lord Jagannath, his brother Balbhadra, and sister Subhadra embarked on their journey from the 400-year-old Jagannath Temple in Jamalpur area.
Union Home Minister’s Involvement:
Prior to the commencement of the Rath Yatra, Union Home Minister Amit Shah performed the ‘mangla aarti’ ritual, an early morning prayer ceremony paying homage to the deity. His participation added a significant touch to the religious event, further enhancing its importance.
Apart from the three chariots carrying the deities, the procession included a grand display of cultural richness. This included the presence of approximately 15 beautifully decorated elephants, 100 trucks adorned with tableaux, and various singing troupes. The Rath Yatra, a traditional procession observed annually on Ashadhi Bij, the second day of the Ashad month according to the Hindu calendar, passed through several areas of the Old City, including some that are considered communally sensitive such as Jamalpur, Kalupur, Shahpur, and Dariyapur.
Unprecedented Security Measures:
To ensure the safety and security of the event, more than 26,000 personnel were deployed along the 18-kilometer-long procession route. These personnel comprised officers from the city police, Home Guards, State Reserve Police, and para-military forces. Their strategic placement aimed to prevent any untoward incidents and maintain a peaceful atmosphere throughout the event.
The 146th Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, marked a joyous celebration for devotees who thronged the procession route to catch a glimpse of the revered deities. The event’s successful execution can be attributed to the efficient use of advanced technologies such as 3D mapping and anti-drone systems by the Gujarat Police. With robust security measures in place, the procession unfolded smoothly, allowing for a spiritually enriching experience for all participants.