I write post on Shri Jagannatha Rath Yatra every year on my blog since beginning, hence continuing the tradition and I am also ardent devotee of Shree Krishna’s avatar of Lord Jagannatha.
The Rath Yatra or Chariot festival, one of the much-awaited Hindu festivals, is celebrated every year on the 2nd day of the Shukla Paksha (waxing cycle of the moon) in the month of Asadh, the 3rd month according to the lunar calendar of India. The foremost epicentre for this festival is the Jagannath Puri temple, one of the four major Hindu shrines, which is situated in the state of Odisha. Rath Yatra Puri has always been popular among tourists due to its religious connotation. They visit Puri every year and take part in the celebrations with full enthusiasm.
The Jagannath Temple is a temple dedicated to the Hindu God Jagannath in the city of Ahmedabad in the Gujarat state of India. The temple located in the Jamalpur locality was established by Sadhu Sarangdasji about 450 years ago. The temple is famous for its annual chariot festival, the Rath Yatra, which is the third most important and largest after the Ratha Yatra at Puri and Kolkata
The festival honours the Lord Jagannath’s visit along with his siblings to the temple of Queen Gundicha. The caravan of Lord Jagannath, on the way, stops at their maternal aunt’s place – mausima temple – to take the meal of sweet pancakes, Jagannath’s favorite dish as believed. During his journey, Lord Jagannath is accompanied also by the celestial wheel called Sudarshan Chakra.
Jagannath Puri temple is called ‘Yamanika Tirtha’ where, according to the Hindu beliefs, the power of ‘Yama’, the god of death has been nullified in Puri due to the presence of Lord Jagannath, popularly known as Lord Krishna, and his siblings – lord Balbhadra and deity Shubhadra – in the Jagannath Puri temple. As many as three new splendid chariots are created for the Puri Yatra (the journey) of the Gods – Lord Jagannath and his siblings – every year. The carpenters, having rights for this job by heredity, follow century old styles, written in the holy Hindu text, for building and decorating the chariots.
Then comes the graceful day of Yatra, when these 45-feet high idols are pulled by millions of devotees came here from all over the world. The act of pulling the Rath by the ropes during Rath Yatra Puri is believed to be an extremely religious act, the belief which attracts millions of tourists from all over the world.
The day of the Rath Yatra in Puri is the only day in the whole year when the non Hindu devotees can have an opportunity to see the gods and goddess of the Jagannath Puri temple. All for the convenience of devotees, Puri Rath Yatra Festival Tour is largely organized in the country and, every year, tourists from home country or abroad take part in the Rath Yatra Tour, with full of zeal. Apart from Indian, this festival attracts a large number of international tourists in Puri. The ISKCON foundation gets the credit for taking this grand celebration to an international level.
Puri Rath Yatra 2017 is on 25th June, Sunday.
The Bahuda Yatra is on 3rd July 2017.
Jai Jagannatha Maha Prabhu, Jai Maa Subhadra, Jai Balarama Bhagwan