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Home :: Fairs & Festivals of India :: Jagannath Rath Yatra

Jagannath Rath Yatra

Time : July
Venue : Jagannath Temple, Puri
Duration : 10 Days

Highlights : Annually the reigning gods of Jagannath Temple - Lord Krishna, Balaram and Subhadra - are traditionally placed on huge chariots. Devotees pull the chariots in a yatra (parade).

Jagannath Rath YatraIn the temple town Puri, the festival of chariots of Lord Jagannath is celebrated annually, during the months of June or July. Rath Yatra consists of two words: rath, meaning a chariot; and yatra, which means a pilgrim's journey or a holly parade. Every year at Puri, the temple town of Orissa the presiding deities of the Jagannath Temple, Sri Mandira, Lord Jagannatha, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra, with the supernal wheel Sudarshana are taken out from the main temple and are drwan to their aunt's temple Gundicha Temple which is situated on the 2km far from their temple.

Probably the only festival in India where deities are brought out of the temple every year. Lord Jagannath, with his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra, goes to The Gundicha temple for five days. Gundicha Temple is also known as the Mausima Temple . At the end of the five days, they are brought back to the Main Jagannath Temple in a procession called the Ultarath.

Jagannath Festival perhaps the grandest festival in the whole world as devotees make no mistake in making this occasion befitting with the magnificence and grandeur of lord Jagannath. The primary festival begins with the "Snanyatra".The deities are bathed with water from an old well which is in the temple complex. The deities are then put on huge decorated raths or chariots and are drawn to their destination by millions of devotees.
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In the parade, the first chariot in line is Taladhyaj, which belongs to Lord Balabhadra. It is 13.5 mts high, bold blue structure stands on a platform of fourteen wheels. Next in line is Rath Darpadalan, which belongs to Devi Shuvadra. Scarlet red in colour, this chariot is around 13 meters high and it moves on 12 wheels. Nandighosh, Lord Jagannath Dev's chariot is the last on the line. It is Bright yellow in colour. This chariot is about 14 meters high. and stands on 16 wheels. There are 4 wooden horses before each chariot.

This day is the only time when the devotees like non hindus or foreigners who are other is not permitted to enter in the temple premises for the darshan of the deities can have the fortune of seeing them. Every religious human being is intrigued by the this yatra. Mere a glance of Lord Jagannatha, on the chariot is considered to be very fortunate. It is believed that even a touch of the Chariot on the ropes with which these chariots are dragged, enough to get bestowed with the blessing for ages.

This festival is a typical Indian fair of huge proportions. This yatra is actually an event which is full of pomp, drama and colour. This yatra is one of the oldest and holiest and a very popular hindu festival. The serene and pretty Puri turns into the hub of buzzing crowd during the occasion. This festival attracts people not only for its religious connections . The synthesis of the folk tribal cultural can be seen with infused classical mythology here. This festival is considered as the living embodiment of the socio-cultural-religious ethos of the Hindustani civilization.

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