Rath Yatra or Car Festival of Lord Jagannath

Rath Yatra or Car Festival of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra are one of the famous festivals in Hinduism. The prime car festival occurs in the Puri of Odisha; however it seems to be occur in most of the parts of India and abroad. Rath Yatra is a most important festival in Odisha that occurs in the month of June-July every year. On this day millions of people or devotees from across the world come at Puri to be blessed by the Lord Jagannath.

Rath Yatra or Car Festival is a nine day program of Lord Jagannath; however the whole activities start before a half month long, during the ‘Snana Purnima’ festival. During this festival the three deities Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra take an open bath at Snan Mandap and take rest for a long fifteen day, which called as Anabasara. Then after fifteen days of isolation the deities take a nine day journey to their aunt’s house (Mausi Maa Mandir) on three different huge chariots; which we called as Rath Yatra or Car Festival.

As per the history of Kalinga or Odra, Lord Jagannath was worshipped by Scheduled Tribes (Sabaras) of Odisha; however low castes, non-Hindus and foreigners were not allowed inside the temple. And, during this festival, Lord Jagannath fulfills everyone’s dreams and desires with His blessings. Thousands of people pulls the three chariots of Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra and took them to the Gundicha Temple with a huge procession of devotional songs and music by trumpets, tambourines etc.

During the nine day staying at Gundicha Temple, Lord Jagannath appears with His nine roles and on ninth day again the three deities return back with a huge procession to the Singhadwar or main temple. Next day, on the Bada Ekadasi all the three deities appears their devotees with dazzling decoration with gold ornaments; which called as ‘Suna Vesh’. The deities in Suna Vesh look very attractive and glittering; due to which millions of devotees make queue to watch in the Bada Danda of Puri. Next day, on Dwadasi the three deities go back to their Ratna Singhasana followed by some rituals. Happy Rath Yatra to All!

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