Gujarat will celebrate 145th Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath on July 1, and preparations for the same are in full swing. Rath Yatra is a huge, colourful procession, where people sing hymns, dance, and showcase different performances and talents.
During the yatra, idols of Lord Jagannath, which is a different name for Lord Krishna, his sister Goddess Subhadra and his elder brother Lord Balabhadra or Balaram, are placed on chariots that are decorated beautifully. The idols themselves are donned in new attires and jewelry. The chariot is taken around the city in a procession and devotees join the yatra from different areas.
People also showcase their talents in singing, and dancing, and also perform stunts as well.
In the old city of Ahmedabad, members of Vadigam Akhada were spotted practicing different stunts, which they will perform at this year’s Rath Yatra procession. Pankaj Dinesh Purani has been participating in the rath yatra, following in the footsteps of his father. Pankaj’s son Aryan Purani is also a stunt performer and usually joins his father during rath yatra every year. Together, this family has been performing stunts at the rath yatra processions for 37 years.
Jagannath Rath Yatra festival is a widely celebrated Hindu festival where millions of devotees take part in the processions. It is believed that on this day, Lord Jagannath visits Earth to see for himself the well-being of his disciples. According to sources, on that day, Gujarat will see a total of 152 Rath Yatras and nearly 60 Shobha Yatras.