Jagannath Rath Yatra:- Ratha Yatra or Ratha Jatra or Chariot Festival (drawing the chariot of Hindu deities) is a common event in India, but when we talk about the Rath Yatra of Puri (chariot pulling ceremony) then it becomes a gathering of millions. The festival is mainly associated with Lord Jagannath held at Puri in the state of Odisha, India.
This is one of the most sought after Spiritual Centres in India. The festival takes place in the Hindu month of Ashada (July) on the second day of the new moon when the three deities of the temple namely Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra are taken out of the main temple for a procession which ends at Gundicha Temple. The gigantic chariots are adorned stunningly with bright colorful clothes, woods and decorative elements and designed in temple like structure. On these chariots, the main priests of Puri Temples also ride and hundreds of musical instruments are played. The three chariots are drawn by thousands of devotees together.
After a week’s stay at Gundicha, the three deities are taken back to the main temple. The chariot festival of coming back is known as Bahuda Jatra. They visit their aunt’s abode which is known as Mausi Maa Temple, while coming back to the temple.
It is believed that people having a glimpse of Jagannath Prabhu during Ratha Yatra or touching the rope of the chariot gain the fortune of many pious deeds. However, those who can have a glimpse of the deities in Gundicha derive the benefits of Ashwamedha Yagna.
- History of Rath Yatra
Rath Yatra is organized every year due to the belief that every year Lord Krishna has a wish of visiting his birth place which is in Mathura for a few days. This is why every year this yatra is conducted starting from Jagannath Temple to Gundicha Temple so as to fulfill his wish. It is one of the grandest and oldest festivals celebrated in India every year. This festival has also been mentioned in the Puranas of Hinduism including Padma, Brahma, and Skanda Purana.
- How To Reach Jagannath Rath Yatra
The nearest airport is Biju Patnaik Airport at a distance of 60 km. One can rent a cab from the airport till Puri. It can also be easily reached through the network of local buses from Gundicha Temple.
1. Since the Yatra is attended by huge masses of people every year, it is advisable for one to keep a track of their belongings and keep some food packets as well as water bottles handy.
2.The festival falls during the full moon month i.e. June or July.
Sri Jagannath Puri Temple
One of the most majestic monuments of Odisha is the Shree Jagannath Puri temple. It was built by a famous king of Ganga Dynasty Ananta Varman Chodaganga Deva. This stunning Vaishnava temple, dating back to 12th century, enshrines Lord Jagannath, Devi Subhadra and Balabhadra.
The architectural splendor of this temple is influenced by the Kalinga Dynasty. The temple is also a host to the biggest festivals in Odisha, the Rath Yatra attracting thousands of pilgrims and tourists to the temple. Beware of fraud priests - Refined conmen, many of whom will seek you out right from Puri Railway station.
Open Time: All days of the week : 5.30 AM to 10 PM, Ideally visited before 10 AM.