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Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra

Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra is also known as chariot Festival is one of the most famous festivals that are celebrated in India. This festival is celebrated once in a year in the holy town of Puri in Odisha. Rath Yatra is not considered just as a festival but is also an insightful spiritual process in which Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra made a journey from their temple to the house of their aunt’s home.

Significance and Origin

According to the historical records that belong to the 12th century, one legend, King Indradyumna found the great temple of Lord Jagannath at Puri. Since then, the words “Rath Yatra” have been used for the annual event where the deities are taken from their abode that is Jagannath Temple to their Aunt's Temple, which is situated about 3 kilometer away. At Puri, this Lord Jagannath's journey is represented as one of the greatest moments of joy among devotees.

The Procession

Before the beginning of procession from Jagannath temple to Gundicha Temple, the priests perform the Snana Purnima ritual during which, the idols are washed and then remain secluded known as Ansara. Later, the idols of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra are placed on an embellished chariot with religious fervour of beating of drums, cymbals and devotional chants. This splendid environment is annually awaited by the devotees to become a part of this festival.

Every year, a grand chariot is made for each of the three deities. The chariot made for Lord Jagannath is called Nandighosa and has 16 wheels. The chariot of Balabhadra is called Taladhwaja. It has 14 wheels and that of Subhadra is named Darpadalana, with 12 wheels. Thereafter, the deities are placed within the chariots. The chariots are decorated with colourful fabrics and flowers and give a magnificent view.

Journey to Gundicha Temple

People have strong belief that pulling the ropes of the chariot during the Rath Yatra, cleanses the sins and showers divine blessings. It is the moment of spiritual upliftment and celebration to honour God's grace and blessings. The enthusiasm and fervour of the devotees becoming one with the tune of singing hymns in praise of the lord, chanting "Jai Jagannath", charges the whole environment. The process is unique in itself characterized by communal harmony and oneness in diversity through coming of the people from different places to participate in the grand event. The journey fills the mind of the devotees with unique spiritual experiences and they feel honored to be a part of the Devine journey of Lord Jagannath.

Celebrations and Joyous Activities

The Rath Yatra is not only marked by religious ceremonies but also has a great significance in our culture, tradition and our heritage. The cultural performances followed by folk dance, musical shows and not to forget the traditional food that has a special place in Indian culture. The local people and the streets of Puri all get especially ready to mingle with festive fervour.

All the deities are kept there for a period of nine days during which a variety of other forms of rituals and ceremonies take place. This particular time is referred as Gundicha Yatra. On the tenth day, which is called the Bahuda Yatra, the deities are taken back to Jagannath Temple. And the festive fervour concludes amid pomp and show, along with tremendous jubilant celebrations. This year Rath Yatra will begin on Sunday 7th July 2024 this year.


Lord Jagannath's Rath Yatra is expressed by transcendental love, devotion and unity beyond caste, creed and religion - sharing spiritual joy. This festival inspires and elevate millions of people.

Let's celebrate Rath Yatra with a pure heart and get God's blessings!

With warm regards
Team Cyber Astro