Monday, June 30, 2014

Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra - The Ecstatic 9 Days Of Devotion & Fun

Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra started yesterday i.e. June 29. A nine day festival of Puri (Orissa), Rath Yatra is the occasion to take out the processions of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra & Subhadra. Attracting flocks of devotees from all around the globe, the festival is above all the religion, caste, creed, and status.

Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra 2014 will go on from June 29 till July 7.

Rath Yatra 2014 started yesterday i.e. on June 29 and will go on till July 7. Truly the most awaited festival of Puri, Rath Yatra is also known as Car festival or Chariot festival. This is the time when the entire country gets into a festive mood and wears color of joy and enthusiasm. The real origin and celebration of Rath Yatra is found in famous Brahma Purana, Skanda Purana, Padma Purana, and Kapila Purana.

What Is Rath Yatra All About?

Rath Yatra is the festival when Rath or chariot of Lord Jagannath, are brought out on Bada Danda, the main street of Puri. The chariot is accompanied by chariot of Balabhadra, younger brother of Lord Jagannath and chariot of Subhadra, sister of the Lord. From Bada Danda, these chariots are taken to Shri Gundicha Temple, the abode of aunt of the deities. For a period of nine days, the deities stay in the temple.

Being a car festival or Ratha Yatra, the highlight of this occasion are the three chariots which are pulled by thousands of devotees. So, what are these three chariots we are talking about? Here they are:

Chariot of Lord Jagannath: Also known as Nandighosa, this chariot is 23 cubits high, with a total of 18 wheels.
Chariot of Balabhadra: Other name for this chariot is Tala Dhvaja and it is 22 cubits high, with 16 wheels.
Chariot of Subhadra: Devadalana is another name for Subhadra’s chariot. With a height of 21 cubits high, this chariot has 14 wheels.

The Ritual Of Chera Pahara

This is a very famous and significant ritual of Rath Yatra. As per the customs, King Gajapati cleans all the three deities along with cleaning their chariots too. Next is the cleaning of road with a gold handled broom and sprinkling of Chandan (sandalwood) water and powder. This ritual is performed twice, on the first day and on the last day. Chera Pahara conveys the message that every individual is equal for Lord Jagannath, no matter he/she is rich or poor.

All three deities visit the Mausi Maa Temple on their return. Here they are served with ‘Poda Pitha’, a kind of baked cake.

The Great Rath Yatra

Rath Yatra of Jagannath Puri is not famous only in India, but is a feast for the foreigners too. Pilgrims and tourists from every corner of the world participate in the Yatra and enjoy it after being an active part of the festival. A number of artists utilize the best of their skills to build and design the chariots. Designers make sure to use the right colors and fabrics to dress the deities in those adorable traditional wears.

Ratha Yatra Is The Festival For One & All

People of every sphere of the world come forward to witness Rath Yatra of Jagannath Puri. Irrespective of any caste or creed, they enjoy the festival and honor the deities. Be it a rich, poor, Shudras or Brahmins, Rath Yatra unites them all in a single thread.

So, this was all about Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra. We hope you must have enjoyed reading this article as much as we have.

Read our featured article on Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra 2014, here - Rath Yatra 2014

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