Bhubaneswar: Lakhs of devotees from across the country and abroad have thronged the Grand Road of Puri to witness the much-awaited Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath and His elder brother Lord Balabhadra and sister Devi Subhadra today.

According to reports, the Raths, parked on the Grand Road in front of the Singhadwar (Lion’s Gate), have already been sanctified with rituals of Mangalarpan by Deula Purohits (Temple Brahmins). The three Raths, Nandighosh, Taladhwaj and Debadalan, have been readied for pulling even since Ajnamals (floral garlands) brought from respective Lords yesterday.

Pahandi, a ritual for moving of idols amid chanting of Mantras and beating of cymbals, is scheduled to begin at 9.30 am and end at 12.30 pm. After the Lords are seated on the Raths, Gajapati Maharaja Dibyasingha Deb will conduct Chherapamhara (sweeping) on cars between 2 pm and 3 pm.

Pulling of Raths is scheduled to begin at 4 pm.

Adequate security arrangements have been made for smooth conduct of the grand festival.