Visakhapatnam: With Rath Yatra (chariot festival) slated to be held on July 6, Port City is gearing up to celebrate the occasion amid festivities, rituals and cultural programmes that will go on for over a week. Around six chariots are taken out in and around the city during the annual festival.
The Iskcon, Utkal Samaj, Visakhapatnam Steel Plant and Old Town Jagannath temple usually take out a decorated chariot carrying the idols of Lord Jagannath, Balaram and Devi Suvadra.
At VSP, the Rath Yatra will be organised at the Sri Jagannath temple complex in Ukkunagaram from July 6 to 17. Several social, spiritual and cultural activities have been planned during the 12-day festival. A number of artistes will come from Odisha to participate in the cultural programmes. In addition, a grand hand loom and handicraft exhibition-cum-sale will be organised.
The steel plant management will also release a souvenir ‘Utkalika’ during the festival. A special historical drama ‘Kala Pahada -The Destroyer,’ will be staged by Sanskruti Vihar – a professional troupe from Cuttack sponsored by the Government of Odisha — on July 8.
The other Odia communities in the city too are planning 11-day programmes during the chariot festival. The decorated chariots will be taken out from Jagannatha temple in Old Town, as well as at Iskcon temple for a tour across the city.