Bhubaneswar: Over four lakh devotees thronged Odisha's temple town of Puri for the Bahuda Yatra or the homecoming festival of Lord Jagannath and two other deities Monday.
Large number of people arrived in Puri a day earlier while more are expected to reach by Monday evening. More than four lakh devotees were already in the town, temple spokesman Laxmidhar Pujapanda told IANS.
He said the rituals for the day started as per schedule. The priests performed the Mangala Arati at 7.10 a.m.
The pulling of the chariots by devotees has been scheduled for 3 p.m., he said.
The Bahuda Yatra marks the return of Lord Jagannath, brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra from the Gundicha temple to the main Jagannath temple, both in Puri.
The return festival is held nine days after the annual Rath Yatra, which marks the journey of the three deities from the 12th century Jagannath temple in three splendidly decorated wooden chariots to Gundicha temple, three km away.
The deities return to their abode in the same splendidly decorated chariots, which thousands of devotees pull with the help of ropes during the Bahuda Yatra.
A glimpse of the deities on the chariots during the Rath Yatra and Bahuda Yatra is considered to be very auspicious.
Pujapanda said Puri is likely to witness a sea of devotees Tuesday to witness the golden attire of the deities known as Suna Besha on their respective chariots. Around 100 kg of gold is used to decorate the deities.