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Jagannath Rath Yatra Know with the unique things of Rath and Mahaprasad


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Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra is considered to be the most important and important of the religious festivals celebrated in India. This Rath Yatra becomes a center of great interest and attraction not only for the tourists coming from India but also from abroad. The temperance of the Rath Yatra of Lord Krishna’s manifestation ‘Jagannath’ is viewed as equivalent to hundred penances. The great splendor of faith that is seen during the Jagannath Rath Yatra festival in the city of Puri, which is situated on the sea coast, is rarer anywhere else. During this Rath Yatra, devotees get a very golden opportunity to directly reach the idols. However, due to Corona for the last two times, it is difficult to do so.


Jagannath Rath Yatra is a 9-day festival. The preparations for the yatra begin with the construction of the chariots of Shri Krishna, Balarama, and Subhadra on the day of Akshaya Tritiya. Millions of people from all over the country and abroad come here every year to witness this festival, but due to Corona, its colors seem to be fading. Yogeshwar Shri Krishna resides in the form of Jagannath in the 800-year-old main temple of Puri, one of the four holy shrines of India. Along with this, there are also Balabhadra and Subhadra.



Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra
Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra

According to mythology, ‘King Indradyumna’ had brought Lord Jagannath from ‘Shabar Raja’ here and it was he who built the original temple which was later destroyed. Nothing is clear about when this original temple was built and when it was destroyed. Yayati Keshari had also built a temple. The present 65 meters high temple was built by the Cholas ‘Gangdev’ and ‘Ananga Bhimdev’ in the 12th century. But the Jagannath sect exists from the Vedic period till now.


9-Day Festival

Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra
Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra

The preparations for the 9-day festival of the Jagannath Temple in Puri begin with the construction of the chariots of Sri Krishna, Balarama, and Subhadra on Akshaya Tritiya. Some religious rituals are also performed.



Eagle Flag

Jagannath’s chariot is called ‘Garudadhwaj’ or ‘Kapiladhwaj’.  This chariot with 16 wheels is 13.5 meters high, in which red and yellow clothes are used. It is protected by Garuda, the carrier of Vishnu. The flag on the chariot is called the ‘Trailokyamohini’ or ‘Nandighosh’ chariot.




Balarama’s chariot is known as ‘Taldhvaja’. This chariot is 13.2 meters high with 14 wheels. It is made of red, green cloth and wood total of 763 pieces. The keeper of the chariot is Vasudeva and the charioteer is Matali. The flag of the chariot is called ‘Unani’. Its horses are ‘Tribra’, ‘Ghora’, ‘Dharyasharma’ and ‘Swarnava’. The rope by which the chariot is pulled is called ‘Vasuki’.


Padmadhwaj or Darpadalana

Subhadra’s chariot is called ‘Padmadhwaja’. The protector of the chariot is ‘Jayadurga’ and the charioteer ‘Arjuna’. The chariot flag is called ‘Nadambika’. ‘Rock, ‘Mochik’, ‘Jita’ and ‘Aparajita’ are its horses. The rope that pulls it is called ‘Swarnachuda’. This journey ends on the tenth day.


Bahuda Yatra

Begins the return journey of Jagannath ji on Ashadh Shukla Dashami. This is called Bahuda Yatra. The chariots reach the Jagannath temple before evening. Where one day the idols are kept in the chariot for the devotees to see. The next day the idols are reinstated in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple with chanting of mantras. Devotees can see the gentle idols of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra in the temple very closely. No distance is kept here between the devotee and the Lord. There is also a tradition of replacing these idols made of wood after a few years. In the year when the month of Ashadha is extra in the form of Adhimaas, new idols of God are made in that year. This occasion is also celebrated as a festival. Old idols are given samadhi in the temple premises itself.


Chariot Construction

The chariots for the Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath are made of wood. No nail or thorn, any metal is used in it. This is a religious act, which has been passed on from generation to generation. The construction of chariots starts from Akshaya Tritiya with the ‘Vanjaga’ festival and the work of picking wood starts from Basant Panchami before that. The wood of the old chariots is bought by the devotees with devotion and use for making windows, doors, etc. of their respective houses.



Community Festival

Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra
Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra

Rath Yatra is a community festival. No worship is done in homes on this occasion and no fast is kept. There are some original features of Jagannathpuri and Lord Jagannath. There is no caste discrimination here. The rice cooked for Jagannath is also taken by the priests there from the people who are called by the name of the lower caste. The rice offered to Jagannath is never impure, it has been given the name of ‘Mahaprasad’. Its specialty is the importance of the Rath Yatra festival. It is the most important of the twenty-four festivals of Puri. The chariots are pulled by pilgrims and skilled laborers. This ‘Maha Utsav’ is celebrated with sentimental songs.

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