The drizzle, humid weather conditions and above all the fact that Puri is yet to recover from the devastation caused by cyclone Fani that hit a month ago failed to deter frenzied lakhs drowned in devotion to participate in the annual rath yatra of Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Lord Jagannath.

Perhaps for the first time in several years , the rituals were conducted before schedule and the three magnificent giant chariots of Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Lord Jagannath rolled down the street to reach Gudicha Mandir. Every inch of the Grand Road was packed with devotees dancing in joy at the glimpse of the deities. Chants of ‘Hari Bol’, ‘Jai Jagannath’ filled the air as did the beating of gongs and blowing of conchs. For many sections who are debarred from entering the temple on grounds of caste and religion.