Puri Jaganath temple Rath Yatra

Jagannath Rath Yatra is celebrated by millions of devotees that comes from all over the world to seeks the blessings of God’s and fulfil their wishes.

The atmosphere at the time of Rath Yatra is so pure and beautiful. … Jagannath Rath Yatra is also famous as Gundicha Yatra, Chariot Festival, Dasavatara and Navadina Yatra .

Ratha Yatra, the Festival of Chariot Chariots of Shri Jagannath is celebrated every year at Puri, the temple town in Odisha, on the second (dwitiya) day of shukla paksha (waxing cycle of moon) of Ashadha Maasa (3rd month in Lunar Calendar).

In other Indian temples the main deity remains in the temple and procession dieties are taken out , where as in this temple alone the main deities are carried out during the procession of the Tatha Yathra .

Various stories are associated with this festival some of them are as follows:
The maternal uncle Kansa of Lord Krishna and Balram invited them to Mathura to kill them. Kansa sent Akrur with a chariot to Gokul. Lord Krishna and Balram sat on the chariot and left for Mathura. The devotees celebrate this day of departure as Rath Yatra.  

Lord Jagannatha’s chariot is called Nandighosa. It is forty-five feet high and forty-five feet square at the wheel level. It has sixteen wheels, each of seven-foot diameter, and is decked with a cover made of red and yellow cloth . The chariots of the deities are newly built every year. The chariot of Balabhadra is called Taladhwaja and that of Subhadra is called Dwarpadalana.

The total number of wheels on Lord Jagannath’s chariot are 16, Lord Balabhadra’s chariot are 14 and Subhadra’s chariot are 12.

The most significant ritual associated with the Ratha-yatra is the chhera pahara. During the festival, the Gajapati King wears the outfit of a sweeper and sweeps all around the deities and chariots in the Chera Pahara (sweeping with water) ritual.

The Ratha Yatra is a symbolic journey of Krishna back to his childhood, hence taken along with siblings, not wife Lakshmi, who is left behind in the main temple, much to the latter’s irritation, which is enacted out ritually by priests (and maharis or temple dancers, in the days of yore), to evoke the feeling that even the great Jagannath has marital problems just like the guy next door.

There are 6 events which are considered as the key activities of this annual spectacular event.

1. ‘Snana Yatra’ is the one where the Deities take bath and then fell sick for almost 2 weeks. They are thus treated with ayurvedic medicines and a set of traditional practices.

2. On ‘Sri Gundicha’, the Deities are taken in the onward car festival from the main shrine to the Gundicha Temple.

3. On the Bahuda Yatra, the return car festival, the Lords are brought back to the main Temple.

4. Suna Besha (Golden Attire) is the event when the Deities wear golden ornaments and give darshan from the chariots, to the devotees.

5. ‘Adhara Pana’ is an important event during Ratha Yatra. On this day sweet drink is offered to the invisible spirits and souls, who would have visited the celestial event of the Lords, as believed by the Hindu tradition.

6. And finally the Deities are taken back inside the main shrine i.e. the Jagannath Temple and installed on the Ratna Simhasan, on the last day of the Ratha Yatra activity which is called as ‘Niladri Bije’.

At the end of the festival, the chariots are dismantled and their wood is used as fuel in the temple kitchens – believed to be the largest in the world that cook 56 things every day and feed anywhere between 2,000 to nearly 200,000 people.

The World’s biggest Chariot festival rituals begin in Odisha’s Puri under the guidelines set by the Supreme Court of India. This festival lasts for over nine days. This year limited people will be seen due to COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing rules will be followed and all entry points to Puri in Odisha have been sealed. According to the reports, only 500 people are allowed to pull one chariot and everyone has to undergo a mandatory COVID-19 test. 

Virtual darshan can be taken by the devotees of the Rath Yatra by watching it LIVE on DD-Odia, DD Bharati and DD India from 7 am. 

May the Lord Jaganath protect us from all illness bless us with good health and prosperity.

For details about Puri Jaganath temple , Gundicha Mandir Odisha .

Published by Ranjini Madhavan

Iam a homemaker who like to travel to spiritual places and like to share my spiritual tours , pictures and my personal tour experiences .Though am not expressive to put it in words thought it would be easy for others who likes to travel these places so that they may know what all places to be covered and a sweet memories for myself.

11 thoughts on “Puri Jaganath temple Rath Yatra

  1. Very good description of the stories and activities.Visited the temple few years back.was a wondeful experience.Sad that this year the rath yatra has to be done in a limited and controlled manner due to Covid 19.

    Liked by 2 people

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