The Hindu festival of Rath Yatra will be celebrated nationwide on Thursday, July 4. The main event in Puri (Odisha state), where participants will begin pulling large chariots from Shree Jagannath temple at 16:00 (local time) to Shree Gundicha temple, is expected to draw over a million people. This is likely to create a high demand for transportation (buses, trains, etc.). The East Coast Railway has therefore announced 196 additional train services between Wednesday, July 3, and Saturday, July 13. The Odisha police have announced special security arrangements, including deploying additional officers to manage traffic and crowds.
Processions are also due to take place in several other cities including in New Delhi, Ahmedabad (Gujarat state), Bangalore (Karnataka), Guwahati (Assam), Hyderabad (Telangana), Kolkata (West Bengal), Panaji (Goa), Patna (Bihar), Ranchi (Jharkhand), Jamshedpur (Jharkhand), Mumbai (Maharashtra), and Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh). A heightened security presence and severe disruptions to transportation services is also expected in these cities.
The Rath Yatra festival is widely celebrated by the eastern Indian states, attracting millions of Hindu pilgrims. The festival begins on Thursday, July 4, and will be followed by the Bahuda Yatra festival on Friday, July 12, as well as the Suna Besha event on Saturday, July 13. Each year, severe transportation disruptions are observed and security is heightened nationwide for the duration of the festival.
Individuals in India should anticipate transportation delays throughout the country, particularly in the eastern states, as well as limited availability on public transportation due to high demand.
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