Rath Yatra Bhog

Jagannath Rath Yatra or the Puri Rath Yatra, which is one of the most popular Chariot festivals in India is celebrated with great enthusiasm, zeal, and fanfare. It is a mega annual event that is celebrated in the month of June or July, and it draws devotees and travellers from all over the country and overseas.  

The festival is dedicated to Lord Jagannath, his elder brother, Lord Balabhadra and his sister Goddess Subhadra. The Rath Yatra Festival, which translates to Festival of Chariots, is a religious procession. On the festival day, the idols of the Gods and the Goddess are seated in a beautifully decorated chariot and taken on a three-kilometre-long journey from the Jagannath Temple to Gundicha Temple, which is believed to be their aunt’s abode. The temple draws over hundreds of devotees, every year.  

According to the Hindu Calendar, the Rath Yatra festival is observed on the second day of the Ashada Month. And, this year, the Rath Yatra Festival 2023 occurs on June 20. The auspicious festival is celebrated over nine days, and it concludes with the return journey of the Gods to the original home, Jagannath Temple. The return journey is called Bahuda Jatra.  

The Rath Yatra festival is an annual extravaganza that shows the rich cultural and traditional heritage of Puri, and Odisha.  

Significance of Jagannath Puri Mahaprasad

 

Apart from the religious significance and other rituals, food is an integral and important part of the Rath Yatra festival celebrations. During the festival, the deities are offered a special feast, which consists of 56 items known as the Chappan Bhog or Rath Yatra Bhog. Bhog means prasad or offering and chappan in Hindi means 56. It is believed that the Lord himself eats food. After offering the food to the Gods, it is also served to the devotees.  

The devotees consider having foods during Rath Yatra served at the temple auspicious and it is an honour for them to taste the same food that is offered to the Gods. And people line up at the place where the food is served to enjoy the bhog. There is a huge crowd all day, and the food services go on during the specific hours of the day.  

Here is a complete list of the 56 items that are part of the Rath Yatra special food offered to the Gods or the Rath Yatra Bhog. 

1.Atkali

11.Khaja

21.Chakuli

31.Tripuri

41.Sarapulli

51.Radhaballav

2.Amalu

12.Khiri

22.Chittau

32.Dhaula

42.Saraswatia

52.Ladu

3.Ada Pachedi

13.Khua Manda

23.Chhuchi Patra

33.Nadi

43.Bada

53.Lahunia

4.Arisa

14.Khurisa

24.Cheena Tadia

34.Pakhal

44.Bali Baman

54.Lakshmibilas

5.Enduri

15.Khuruma

25.Cheena Mandua

35.Pana

45.Bhaja

55.Hansa keli

6.Kadamba

16.Khechudi

26.Jagannath Ballabh

36.Pana Suaa

46.Manohara

56.Hansa Ballabha

7.Kakara

17.Gaitha

27.Jenamani

37.Palua Khiri

47.Mahadei

 

8.Kanti

18.Gaza

28.Jhilli

38.Pitha

48.Mohan Bhog

 

9.Cora

19.Gotali

29.Dakua

39.Puri

49.Sarapapudi

 

10.Khair Chula

20.Chakata

30.Dalimba

40.Feni

50.Rashabali

 

 

If you are not able to eat the Puri Rath Yatra bhog at the temple, you can try having these traditional delicacies of Jagannath Puri while you are in the city to attend the festival. 

  • Khaja

A sweet dish, Khaja is popular not just in Odisha, but also in other parts of India. But, here in Puri, people offer it as Bhog to Lord Jagannath during the Rath Yatra festival. It is available everywhere around the city during the Puri Rath Yatra festival, and you must surely try it.  

The dish has a crunchy texture on the outside and is flaky with clear and distinct layers of goodness dipped in sugar syrup. It is super delicious and once you have a taste of it, it can be hard to stop yourself from having more than one.  

  • Dalimba

Dalimba or Dalma is one of the other traditional delicacies of Rath Yatra that tastes utterly delicious and is a must-have for all. The best part of the dish is that it is super healthy and it is cooked without oil. Made with lentils, green vegetables, and many spices, it is essentially a stew or soup that is eaten with rice. Some people like to add pepper, and cumin, which elevates the flavour and taste to another level.  

  • Khechudi 

Khechudi or Kichdi is a staple in every household in Odisha. It is considered to be one of the most comfort foods and is a delight to eat anytime of the day. It is one of the many Rath Yatra bhog that is counted as a healthy dish and a special festival dish.  

Made of rice, it also has the goodness of the pure desi ghee, lentils, and spices, which are all cooked together in a pressure cooker.  

The vegetables used in the Khechudi are usually peas, cauliflower, carrots and French beans, but sometimes it can also include potatoes, which adds another layer of flavour and elevates its taste.  

  • Rashabali

If you have a sweet tooth, you would surely fall head-over-heels in love with Rashabali. A rich and decadent sweet dish, it is one of the most popular delicacies of Odisha and usually made during special occasions. A quintessential Rath Yatra special food, Rashabali is made of thickened milk and later dipped in rabri and flavoured with saffron.   

  • Ukhuda 

One of the traditional delicacies of Rath Yatra, Ukhuda is one of the 56 dishes served to the Gods and the devotees at the Jagannath temple during the festival. It is a simple and humble dish yet super delicious. It is made of rice and sugar. The rice is first puffed, then fried and later mixed with sugar syrup.

  • Pitha 

Pitha is a sweet dish made from rice and it is served to the God and Goddess as part of the Rath Yatra bhog during the festival. When you are in Puri for the Rath Yatra festival, you must definitely taste this dish; it is simple, and delicious. You may also find different varieties of Pitha like Mandha Pitha, Arisa Pitha, Chakuli Pitha, Endhuri Pitha and more, and all of them are worth tasting. 
 
 

Interesting Facts About the Jagannath Puri Mahaprashad

  1. Lord Jagannath is believed to take His bath at Rameswaram, meditate at Badrinath, dine at Puri, and retire at Dwarika. Thus, the temple food “Mahaprasad” holds supreme importance.
  2. According to "Skanda Purana," Lord Jagannath redeems devotees through Mahaprasad, darshan, rituals, and gifts.
  3. The temple kitchen can cook for 100,000 devotees daily using earthen pots and firewood.
  4. Steam-cooked bhog is offered to Lord Jagannath and then to Bimalaa Debi, becoming Mahaprasad.
  5. Mahaprasad is freely shared among people of all castes and creeds.
  6. Food carried to the Lord in earthen pots has no smell, but after being offered, it emits a delicious aroma when carried back to Anand Bazar.
  7. Mahaprasad sanctifies and prepares the soul for its upward journey.
  8. Mahaprasad is sold in Anand Bazar, the world’s largest open-air hotel, where thousands eat together daily.
  9. Residents of Puri use Mahaprasad for social functions like thread ceremonies and weddings.
  10. Tourists often carry "Khaja," a type of dry Mahaprasad made of maida, sugar, and ghee, which stays fresh for days.
  11. Mahaprasad is not offered from the first day of Ratha Yatra until the deities return to their bejeweled throne.
  12. Dried rice Mahaprasad, known as “Nirmalya,” is used by devotees and tourists for sacred occasions.

Interesting facts about the Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra

The Rath Yatra festival of Puri is one of the most significant festivals and events in India. It carries high religious, cultural and social value for the devotees, and for the locals in the state. For the ardent devotees, it is not just a festival, it is an emotion.  

  •     Every year, the Gods and Goddess are taken on the procession in a new chariot that is constructed before the start of the festival. More than 1000 carpenters and other workers build the chariot from scratch using ancient building techniques and they take the measurements using only fingers and hands.  
  •     On the day of the festival, Odisha receives a good amount of rainfall. As per the date, there has not been a single Rath Yatra since its inception when it did not rain.  
  •   The commonly used English word, ‘Juggernaut’ is believed to be derived from Lord Jagannath’s name because of the massive chariot in which the lord is carried during the Rath Yatra. During the colonial era, the British officers coined the term when they saw the Yatra or the procession.  
  •     The canopies used in the chariots are made of over 1200 metres of cloth and a dedicated team of 15 highly-skilled tailors are given the responsibility of making the canopies.  

Places to visit near Jagannath Temple 

If you are planning to visit Puri to take part or witness the Rath Yatra festival, you can also try visiting other popular attractions near the temple. Some of the best places to visit in Puri, include 

  •     Chilika lake
  •     Puri beach
  •     Konark temple
  •     Raghurajpur artist village
  •     Pipli village
  •     Konark beach
  •     Gundicha temple 

So, now that you are aware of the amazing Rath Yatra Bhog dishes, make sure to try these delicacies and have an enriching Rath Yatra festival experience.  

  • Destination
  • Food
  • Travel
  • Jagannath
  • Jagannath rath yatra
  • Jagannath Rath Yatra
  • Puri

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