62 special trains for Puri Rath Yatra

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Bhubaneswar: Indian Railways Tuesday announced it would run 62 special trains for the famous Rath Yatra (chariot festival) of Lord Jagannath, beginning at Odisha’s Puri town June 21 in view to avoid rush in regular trains.

The special trains will be run during the festival to connect Puri, 56 km from Bhubaneswar, with several places in the state as well as around the country, according to an East Coast Railway press release.

Besides, special trains will run from and to Visakhapatnam and Palasa in Andhra Pradesh, Raipur in Chhattisgarh and Kharagpur in West Bengal.

Every year, idols of the three deities – Lord Jagannath, his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra – are taken out of the 12th century temple in chariots to another shrine called Gundicha, three km away both in Puri town.

Nine days later, the chariots make their return journey known as Bahuda Jatra, which will be organised on June 29 this year.

A glimpse of the deities is considered auspicious and around a million devotees throng to attend this annual procession. The chariots are pulled with ropes by devotees amid chants of hymns.