It’s a major Hindu festival celebrated in a grand style where lakhs of people gather to witness the procession of Lord Jagannath in Orissa. This Oriya festival has made its way to other regions as well with its grandeur. Now Rath Yatra is not limited to Puri but the massive arrangement that pulls the crowd is only found there.
Puri being the town of Jagannath temple is considered ideal to start the chariot. The grand celebration commemorates Lord Jagannath’s annual visit to Gundicha temple. Jagannath is accompanied by Balabhadra and Subhadra in two other chariots and head for their aunt’s temple which is hardly 2 km away from Jagannath temple. There they stay for seven days.
In the morning three deities are worshiped at the temple and veteran priests make the idols ready for the journey. Three decorative chariots are prepared for their travel which is the main attraction of the event. Only Hindu pilgrimages are available to enter the temple premise on any random day but during Rath Yatra everyone is allowed to be a part of the journey. The return is equally important and celebrated with equal majesty.
The festival occurs on a full moon day in June/July.Thousand people gather to pull the chariots with dozen wheels. Many strongly believe that pulling the chariot on that day brings good luck in the family and they desperately come to join hands in this pious festival. Devotional songs, trumpets, drums are played in the journey and the whole procession is captured and broadcast on television live on that big day.
The decoration and unique designs of the chariot are something to watch for. Nandighosa is Lord Jagannath’s chariot, Taladhwaja is booked for his brother and Subhadra’s chariot is called Dwarpadalana. The construction of each chariot begins on Akshay Tritiya, an auspicious day for Hindus.
So what are you waiting for? Start your preparation to attend this auspicious fiesta. Well, this is the time for some delectable sweets and namkeen that you can prepare at your home and offer it to the three deities. Kids also make their chariot and pull it in the evening.
Ethnic suits best on any traditional festival. So get your designer lehenga online to wear during the worship. For people in Orissa, Rath is like Diwali or Durga Puja. They leave no stone unturned to match the glory of the function. So full your cart with Kurta for men, lehenga for women and ethnic dresses for kids.