Raipur, Dt: 20.06.2023: The Annual Car Festival was celebrated at the largest Shree Jagannath Temple of Chhattisgarh in Gayatri Nagar at Raipur with pomp, splendour and much fanfare. The Mega Celebration hosted by Shree Jagannath temple Seva Samiti to mark the union of Lord of the Universe with common devotees witnessed the congregation of more than a lakh devotees from Raipur and nearby localities. Unusual enthusiasms and unprecedented excitements were visible among the strong crowd of Odia and Non Odia devotees gathered here with their family members to take part in the Grand Celebration. The Temple management Committee under the active stewardship of its Founder President Purandar Mishra had made special arrangements to control the crowd, to maintain law and order and to distribute Mahaprasad in large scale.
In the morning religious rituals were performed before the Deities in the Temple amidst spiritual fervour. Special Havan was organised to invoke the blessings of the God. After the conclusion of Havan at around 12.45 p.m. in afternoon the Pahandi Bije of God Sudarshan, Lord Balabhadra, Debi Subhadra and Lord Jagannath were conducted by servitors to the three aesthetically decorated Chariots parked in the Grand Road in front of the Temple. Governor of Chhattisgarh Biswabhushan Harichandan was the Chief Guest and Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel was the Guest of Honour during the Rath Yatra Festival. Other distinguished Guests present include Speaker of the Assembly Charan Das Mahant, Former Speaker Gouri Shankar Agrawal, State Goernment Minister Kawasi Lakhma, M.P. Jyotshana Mahant, Mayor of Raipur Municipal Corporation Ezaz Debar, M.L.A Vikash Upadhyaya, Raipur South M.L.A Brij Mohan Agrawal and Raipur North M.L.A Kuldip Juneja. Chief Minster Shri Baghel carried the Idol on his head to the Chariot.
Governor Shri Harichandan, C.M. Shri Baghel and other guests did the traditional sweeping in front of the Chariots called Chherapahanra and performed Arati before the Trinity on the Chariots. Describing that Lord Jagannath is also the presiding Deity of Chhattisgarh, C.M. Shri Baghel prayed Lord of the Universe for the peace and prosperity of the residents of the State. The entire atmosphere was reverberated with the recitals of hymns, roaring of slogans like Haribol and Jai Jagannath, sounding of Huluhuli, blowing of conch and playing of musical instruments such as Ghanta, Kartala, Mardala, Jhanja and Mrudanga by the devotees.
At around 3.00 p.m. the pulling of Chariots commenced. The spectacular view of Royal Sojourn of the Gods and Goddess on board the colourful chariots were memorable and mesmerising. The devotees were at their devotional and emotional best to have a holy glimpse of the Broad round eye of the Black Lord from atop the Nandighosh Chariot. The chariots were pulled till 1 km to B.T.I ground and then taken back to Temple premises via Shankar Nagar. A large number of spectators had auspicious glimpse of the Deities on Board the Chariots here. Around 6.00 p.m. The Gods and Goddess were taken to Aunt’s House situated at the Basement of the Temple in a procession. The entire arrangement of Car Festival was smoothly conducted under the able and active supervision of the custodian members of the Temple Management Committee like President Purandar Mishra, M.K.Raut, Subrat Sahoo, Subhaash Agrawal, Gopal Agrawal, Dwarikadheesh Mishra, Ramesh Kumar Agrawal and Prakash Das.