Nagpur: The colourful Shriram Janmotsav Shobhayatra got off to a start from Poddareshwar Ram Mandir here on Tuesday to mark Ram Navami celebrations. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis performed puja of idols of Lord Ram, Sita, Laxman and Hanuman kept in an aesthetically decorated Shakti Rath marking the commencement of Shobhayatra, the much awaited annual feature in the Second Capital City of Nagpur amid tight security arrangements even as lakhs of devotees queued up to have a glimpse of the Shobhayatra. Shyamsundar Poddar also worshipped the deities.
A galaxy of dignitaries including Assam Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Guradian Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule, Mayor Nanda Jichkar, MLC Prof Anil Sole, MLAs Krushna Khopde, Sudhakar Kohale, Sudhakar Deshmukh, Dr Milind Mane, Deputy Mayor Deepraj Pardikar, Standing Committee Chairman Sandeep Jadhav, Sharad Jichkar and others. At the outset, the Chief Minister and other dignitaries took darshan of the deities and then performed puja of idols.
After Fadnavis performed puja, the Shobhayatra commenced. Colourful and dazzlingly illuminated floats depicting scenes from mythology took part in the procession which wound its way through the main streets of the city before returning to the temple. As the Rath having idols of Lord Ram, Sita, Laxman and Hanuman started moving, chants of Jai Shriram rent the air. This is the 51st year of Shobhayatra of historic Poddareshwar Ram Mandir. Extending his Ram Navami greetings to the citizens, Fadnavis said that Shriram Janmotsav Shobhayatra is unprecedented and unique in its splendour. The Shobhayatra is participated by people of all religions enthusiastically. The Shakti Rath has been decorated aesthetically by Harikishan Agrawal family.
A total of 77 floats and tableaus based on events of Ramayan and Lord Ganesh, Lord Hanuman, Ashvamedh Yagya, Maratha King Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj are adorning the Shriram Janmotsav Shobhayatra Shobhayatra. Similarly, groups of men and women performing Adivasi dances, lazim squads, Mahila Bhajan Mandal and various organisations, industrialists and other personalities participated in the Shobhayatra.
Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar, District Collector Sachin Kurve, and other senior officials were also present on the occasion.