Rath Yatra: The Chariot Festival of Lord Jagannath
“The grandeur and heritage of Puri “Rath Yatra” – The Car Festival, is the annual holy carnival for devotees, travelers, tourist, photographers, Journalist, travel gurus. It’s the photographer’s paradise, and people from all over the world come to film The Chariot festival. Every year pilgrims find something new to witness and take back memories and blessing when visit to Jagannath Dham.
Puri, the south-eastern Indian city is visited for a number of reasons; its beaches, its coastal cuisine, its temples, and the Rath Yatra are a few of them to mention here… Popularly known as the Temple Chariot Festival; Rath Yatra and Annual Car festival is the yearly festival of the Hindus in which lord Krishna “Jagannath”, his heavenly brother “Balabhadra”, and his divine sister “Subhadra” are taken from the 11th Century Shree Jagannath Puri Temple in town to the Gundicha temple amidst millions of devotees – domestic and international. One of the most incredible spectacles in the world, this festival also commemorates the human journey of dark to light, the journey from ignorance to knowledge, and the journey of final salvation.
Puri Rath Yatra has been celebrated in the city since times memorial. It is observed on the 2nd day of the full-moon fortnight in the month of June-July. Wonderfully decorated wooden chariots of the deities are pulled by devotees with large ropes. These ropes are considered very auspicious and devotees who can touch them are deemed as lucky. This year the Car festival will be observed from 12th of July 2010 till 23rd July 2010. The core festivities of Rath Yatra – the Car Festival will be celebrated on 21st June 2012
“Rath Yatra : The Car Festival at Puri”
Catch the magical glimpse of the festivities as have been celebrated over the years at http://bit.ly/afotpC
Rath Yatra is not just for the people of Orissa. It is a celebration for devotees and visitors from all over the world. Owing to the painstaking efforts of Prabhu AC Bhaktivedanta of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), Rath Yatra is not just limited to Indians, it is today a popular festival celebrated in several European and Asian nations as well. Belfast, Dublin, Venice, Toronto, USA san Francisco and other cities in USA states and Singapore are a few of them to mention.
Let me also run you through a few of the significant facts about the Rath Yatra festival:
- The 3 chariots of the deities are constructed newly of Phassi and Dausa trees, local trees that are especially brought to Puri from nearby cities and towns of Orissa.
- The chariot of Lord Jagannath (Krishna) is known as Nandighosa and is driven on sixteen wheels.
- The chariot of Subhadra is popular as Dwarpadalana and is traveled on twelve wheels.
- The chariot of Balabhadra is called as Taladhwaja. It has fourteen wheels.
- The construction of the chariots begins on the day of Akshaya Tritya. This year the date will be 14th of May 2010.
- A ceremonial everyday boat ride for the deities commences at the Narendra Tank and this festival is held for 21days and is called the Chandan Yatra.
- The ceremonial bathing of the deities, Snana Jatra in the month of June follows this act.
- Nearly every house in Orissa is decorated with flowers and oil lamps on the account of Rath Yatra.
- Over 10 lakh devotees come down to Puri for this festival.
- Once the festival is over, the chariots are broken and the sandalwood sold to devotees as mementoes and relics.
The Rath Yatra truly manages to enable visitors and devotees with an ethereal experience of natural nirvana. Come embark on this journey and enjoy a never before experience. Toshali makes all arrangement for their guest to experience the car festival.
How to Reach Puri for the Chariot Festival?
- Shree Jagannath Temple Puri is 60-km from Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Orissa.
- Nearest Airport is Bhubaneswar 60km from the holy temple from there you can easily hire a vehicle or a bus or an environment friendly Rickshaw.
- Rail Lines in India are well connected with Puri Railway Station directly to and from different major cities like Kolkota, New Delhi, and Bhubaneswar, Tirupati and Ahmedabad and more.
- By road Puri is 60-km from Bhubaneswar main bus stand and 35-km from Konark on Marine Drive.
- Toshali, the ethnic village resort is located on the Puri – Konark Marine Drive, which is just 15 to 20 minutes drive to Shree Jagannath Temple. Toshali makes all arrangements for its guests to witness and experience Rath Yatra – The Chariot Festival.
On the event of The Car Festival “Rath Yatra” 2010. Toshali is on to demonstrate the positive change on International coastal clean up drive at Puri beach to keep it clean, and have initiated the initiative cause “Puri Beach: Keep Me Clean”. It has already set an example on “Balighai beach”, Puri in coordination with the Orissa Forest Department.
Balighai Beach at Puri
Do not forget to carry your camera; we would appreciate if you share your video and photographs at our blog. For More Information on The Car Festival leave a comment, Metu will revert back…