Have you ever witnessed the spectacular Jagannath Rath Yatra? If not, then this article is for you.

Namaste!

Welcome back my readers to the engaging world of Hinduism on the www.onindianpath.com. Today we are going to take you on a trip to the coastal city of Puri, in Odisha.

Rath Yatra, Puri, Odisha
Rath Yatra, Puri, Odisha

Introduction

In this blog you will explore the adventures of upcoming Rath Yatra 2024 and other esoteric facts about it.

Before we start, let me tell you something about the mysterious God of Kaliyuga. God of Kaliyuga, yes Lord Jagnnath is the divine god of present Yuga as per known facts. I personally was enhanced when visited Jagannath and hailed “Gutku se Jagannath” as he appeared to me, the cutest name.

Lord Jagannath is believed to be the incarnation of Lord Krishna worshipped along with his elder brother Lord Balabhadra and sister Goddess Subhadra in Puri, Odisha.

About Rath Yatra 2024

Rath Yatra or Rath Jatra is a grandeur celebration in India held every year in Puri, Odisha. Rath Yatra 2024 is an impressive celebration of 10 days which is no less than a festival.

Apparently, people in lakhs visit Puri from different corners of the world every year to rejoice this massive gathering. This year Jagannath Rath Yatra is going to held on July 7, 2024 on Sunday in Puri, Odisha.

Don’t miss this opportunity and make your plans today by booking tickets and hotels online in order to avoid last minute hassle.

What is Rath Yatra?

It is a commemoration where Lord Jagannath himself walks down the streets of Puri to meet his beloved devotees. Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra accompany Lord Jagannath (Vishnu) in this heavenly procession.

Further, the festival is held on the 2nd day of Ashadha (June-July) according to the Hindu calendar. It is a Hindu festival, dedicated to Lord Jagannath and his siblings Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra.

Construction of Chariots

Also known as the Chariots Festival, the Rath Yatra is an auspicious tradition followed every year in similar manner. Three different chariots are constructed for all the deities in a special way. Time, day, material to be used for chariots and other rituals required for construction are never changed.

Date of Chariot Making

First, the construction of chariots is a very special ritual that begins on Akshay Tritiya (May 10, 2024). It begins on the third lunar day in Vaishakh month of Shukla Paksha. The construction of three grand chariots is done by families possessing hereditary rights to do so. A special kind of wood (Phasi, Dhaura and Asan) is used. Additionally, 865 Kgs of logs of wood is used for construction.

Moreover, the construction of the chariots starts before the actual festival. The construction site is located in the temple precincts of Puri. And the chariots are built by a team of skilled carpenters and artisans using traditional techniques and tools. The chariots are built entirely out of wood and are adorned with intricate carvings and paintings.

Other Rituals

Further, the three chariots represent three deities – Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Goddess Subhadra. The chariot of Lord Jagannath, known as Nandighosa, is the tallest of the three and is built with 16 wheels. The chariot of Lord Balabhadra, known as Taladhwaja, has 14 wheels, and the chariot of Goddess Subhadra, known as Darpadalan, has 12 wheels.

As the chariots’ construction is a sacred ritual, so several religious ceremonies are performed during the process on Akshaya Tritiya. The carpenters and artisans involved in the construction are believed to be blessed by the deities, and their work is considered to be an act of devotion.

On the day of the Rath Yatra, the chariots are pulled by thousands of devotees, elephants and horses through the streets of Puri. The chariots are constructed using traditional methods, and the process is considered to be a sacred ritual. The devotees consider it to be an honor to pull the chariots. It is believed that doing so brings good luck, blessings and moksha to the devotees.

At last, the main attraction of the festival is the procession of Lord Jagannath’s chariot through the streets of Puri.

Highlights of Rath Yatra

a) Jagannath Rath Yatra is one of the most popular and revered festivals.

b) The festival begins with the Snana Yatra, which is a grand bathing ceremony of the three deities.

c) During this ceremony, the idols are bathed in 108 pitchers of water and are then placed on giant chariots.

d) After Snan ritual all the chariots assemble at the Singh Dwara of the temple and from here the Yatra starts.

e) The chariots are ornately decorated and are pulled by devotees through the streets of Puri.

f) The chariots are made of wood, and each chariot is pulled by hundreds of devotees using ropes.

g) However the chariots are pulled from the Jagannath temple to the Gundicha temple, which is about 3 kilometers away. The procession is accompanied by devotional songs, dance and the beating of drums.

h) Then the chariots are parked outside the Gundicha temple for nine days, during which time the deities stay in the temple.

i) The deities are worshipped during this time, and on the 10th day, the Bahuda Yatra is celebrated. The Bahuda Yatra is the return journey of the deities to the Jagannath temple.

J) At last, the chariots are pulled back to the Jagannath temple, and the festival comes to an end with the Ulta Rath Yatra, which is the ceremonial dismantling of the chariots. Jagannath Rath Yatra is a significant festival for Hindus, and it attracts a large number of devotees from all over the world.

The festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion, and it is a unique cultural experience that showcases the rich heritage of Odisha in India.

Interesting facts you should not miss

  • After the Snana Yatra, it is believed that Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra suffer from cold and get unwell. So they take rest for 15 days in a special room outside the temple before commencing the procession.
  • The names of the four horses of Lord Jagannath are: Shankha, Balahaka, Shweta and Haridashwa. Lord Balabhadra horses’ names are: Rochika, Mochika Jita and Aparajita.
  • Chariot of Lord Jagannath is the tallest and is adorned in Red and yellow color. Lord Balabhadra’s chariot is in Red and Blue colour. Whereas Goddess Subhadra’s chariot is the smallest in height and in Red and Black colour.
  • Ratha Yatra is also popular as Chandan Yatra which is celebrated in Vrindavan, Mathura.

Why do we celebrate Rath Yatra?

As per the popular Hindu texts, Ratha Yatra is believed to be the oldest celebration. Moreover, its descriptions can be found in Brahma Purana, Padma Purana, the Skanda Purana and the Kapila Samhita. Further, the Jagannath Ratha Yatra is the celebration of the occasion of Jagannath’s journey towards his mausi (aunt’s) house.

It is a celebration of Lord Jagannath’s annual visit to his aunt’s home, the Gundicha Temple. It is located about 3 km away from the main Jagannath Temple in Puri. According to Hindu mythology, deities travel to their aunt’s home in three beautifully decorated chariots every year. Further, the festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion in Puri and other parts of India and abroad. The festival is marked by singing, dancing, and other festivities.

The significance of Rath Yatra 2024 is to showcase the universal nature of Lord Jagannath. The Lord is worshipped by people of all castes, creeds, and religions. It is also believed that taking part in the Rath Yatra is a way to attain salvation.

Conclusion

At the end, I would like to wish you good health and mesmerising Rath Yatra in 2024. Till then, take care.

Keep growing with us.

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7 thoughts on “Rath Yatra 2024 – An Exciting Procession at Puri, Odisha

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