Ratha Yatra, the chariot festival of Sri Jagannath Dev which is one of the major festivals of the Hindu community, begins today.
The festival will come to an end with Ulto Ratha Yatra (reverse journey) on July 8.
In observance of the festival, different religious bodies and temple committees have drawn up various programmes.
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKON) has chalked out a nine-day programme in Dhaka.
The country’s largest Ratha Yatra festival will be held at Dhamrai in Manikganj district.
The programmes of the festival will begin in the morning with rendering of Harisangkirtan, holding of Agnihotra Jagna seeking world peace and people’s welfare, recitation of verses from Srimat Bhagabat Geeta, distribution of mohaprosad, discussion, rendition of padaboli kirtan and arati, cultural function, staging of religious drama and screening of religious films.
The programmes of the ISKON at Swamibag in Dhaka will start with holding of Agnihotra Jagna seeking divine blessings for world peace and people’s welfare tomorrow morning.
A discussion will be organised there in the afternoon. Planning Minister MA Mannan will join it as the chief guest while Indian High Commissioner Vikram K Doraiswami will attend as the special guest. Mangla Pradip will be lit up later.
Later, a colorful procession will be brought out from Swamibagh temple with carrying images and idols of Sri Jagannath Dev, his brother Sri Balaram and sister Srimati Subhadra on three largely build Rathas (chariots).
Then the devotees will pull the ropes of the chariots through Tikatuli, Ittefak intersection, Shapla Chattar, Dainik Bangla, Purana Paltan intersection, National Press Club, High Court crossing, Doel Square, Ramna Kali temple, Dhaka University TSC, Jagannath Hall, Palashi Crossing and rounded up the Ratha Yatra on the premises of the Dhakeshwari National Temple.
Besides, the Rathjatra festival will also be celebrated at Ramseeta Mandir at Joikali Mandir Road, at Shankharibazar and Jagannath Jeo Mandir at Tantibazar in old city and other places across the country.
Special security measures have been taken marking the festival to avert any untoward incidents.
Rathajatra is a journey in a chariot with deities of Jagannath (Vishnu avatar), Balaram, or Balabhadra (his brother), Subhadra (his sister) and Sudarshana Chakra (his weapon) on a ratha, a wooden deula-shaped chariot accompanied by people in colorful procession.
It attracts over a million Hindu pilgrims who join the procession each year in the Indian subcontinent including Bangladesh for long.