The Ahmedabad rath yatra generally starts from the Jagannath temple , Jamalpur and goes for a 14 km journey in the city. The rathyatra passes through communally sensitive areas of the city like Kalupur, Prem Darwaja, Delhi Chakla, Dariyapur and Shahpur.
We saw tight security put in place across the route to maintain communal harmony. The route was really crowded and we struggled to find a place to watch the yatra. Luckily we were able to reach a terrace where there were some other TV crew members covering the event (thanks to the bank manager of a bank located in the building, who suggested the spot and also allowed us). Though we could get only a downward angle for the camera, we were at least able to view it at ease.
So here it goes..
1. Langars everywhere, distributing free water
2. Langar.. distributing free eatables (prasad)
3. People flock to get prasad as a truck passes by
4. A vehicle belonging to some local association distributing sweets. People as well as the policeman on duty asking for it
5. Jubilant crowd posing for the camera
6. Children dressed as Krishna..
7. Oh boy !! becoming Krishna is so difficult. Seems the kid dressed as Krishna not enjoying it at all 🙂
8. A child covers himself under his mother’s dupatta to hide himself from the strong sun
9. Acrobats performing in the procession
10. Many akharas participated in the yatra. I don’t know the relation between Lord Jagannath and akharas, but the display of muscles went on for almost half an hour. A small boy aspiring to be muscular and strong posing for the crowd
Edit: The akharas are related to Lord Balrama (Thanks Manisha for clarifying it). Balarama trained both Bhima and Duryodhana in club-fighting.
11. A man watches the instrument being used by a kirtan mandali
12. Flags indicating that its time for arrival of the three raths
13. The first rath, of Lord Jagannath arrives.. (A small video here)
14. The rath is pulled by hand using a rope by devotees
People watch as the devotees pulling the rath pass by amidst heavy police security
15. The second rath belonging to Lord Balrama and the third belonging to Lord Subhadra passes by
16. Heavy security measures were taken by the administration. Over 14,000 policemen and 4500 home guard jawans havebeen deployed across the city. Four Bomb Disposal Squads (BDS), nine Quick Response Teams, and 27 mobile police control room vans have also been deployed. A bomb disposal squad and an ambulance in the procession.
17. Rapid action police force personnels watch a group of people passing by
18. This is our spot from where we saw the event. This place also had CCTV and policemen as a part of security measure. And because of them we got free tea as well 😛
19. A media crew member watching the live feed on his laptop covering himself from the harsh sun under an umbrella
20. Jhatpat pan masala had a stall to distribute free pan masala satches. Observed that some children were also able to get it.
Now having seen how it is, next year I may try going inside and walk along the yatra route 🙂