Puri: The stage is set for the annual Ratha Yatra festival scheduled to be held in the state’s pilgrim town Puri on Sunday.
Thousands of devotees have already arrived in Puri while the district administration expects a congregation of around 10 lakh people during the festival.
Three majestic chariots — Nandighosa (Lord Jagannath), Taladwaja (Balabhadra) and Darpadalan (Subhadra) — have been kept ready before the 12th century Jagannath Temple in Puri.
The devotees will pull the three chariots on the grand road to the Gundicha Temple, about three kilometres from the main temple, on Sunday.
The deities will go on a nine-day sojourn to the Gundicha Temple.
Director General of police K B Singh said adequate security arrangements have been made for smooth conduct of the festival. “The entire town, including the surrounding of Jagannath temple, chariots, Gundicha temple and sea beach have been fortified. Over 7,000 cops, including 125 platoons of police force have been mobilized this Ratha Yatra,” Singh said. The pulling of the chariots is scheduled to start between 2.30 pm and 3.30 pm.