Puri: The annual Rath Yatra begins on Sunday.
It is believed to be one of the oldest festivals in the world that started with the inception of the 12th century shrine. It was at the behest of Ananta Barman Chodoganga Dev (1112-1148 AD) that the construction of the temple was started and finally it was completed by his grandson Anangabhima Dev (1160-1190 AD).
However the 3-km Grand Road, which will see the festival chariots rolling out, has been spruced up and most beautifully decorated. For the first time, the district administration has given a fresh coat of paint, a uniform ivory, to all the buildings lining the procession path. Another high point of this year's Rath Yatra is the ban on the sale of non-vegetarian food items along the road.
All commercial and promotional hoardings have been pulled down by the district administration to offer devotees a better view of the proceedings.