Jagannath Rath Yatra, Puri 2022 – At a glance 

Rath Yatra date – July 7(Sunday) 2024

(Puri Rath Yatra 2024 will start on the 29th June and celebrated on 7th July)

Location – Jagannath Temple, Puri, Odisha 

In the heart of Odisha lies Puri, a town that bursts with energy annually during the Rath Yatra festival. Recognized as the chariot festival of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Goddess Subhadra, this event stands as the largest, most revered, and beloved Hindu festival of the region. Occurring each year on the second day of Shukla Paksha in either June or July, it beckons Hindu devotees from far and wide to seek divine blessings at the renowned Jagannath Temple. Explore the captivating Facts About Puri Jagannath Temple and discover the optimal Best Time to Visit Jagannath Temple for a truly enriching experience.

About the Jagannath Temple 

The Jagannath Temple in Puri is one of the holiest sites for the Hindu community in India. The temple has a rich history and cultural significance during the Chodaganga Dynasty in the 12th century. The main deities at the temple are Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Goddess Subhadra, who is associated with King Indrayumma, the nephew of Lord Ram.  

 Till where do the chariots go – The devotees pull the chariots from the Jagannath Temples through the streets of Puri to Gundicha temple, which is located a few kilometres away. 

How many chariots are there – Three. One for Lord Jagannath, the other for Lord Balabhadra (his brother), and Goddess Subhadra (his sister).  

Every year, the temple celebrates 148 festivals, and among these, the Jagannath Rath Yatra, celebrated during the Asadha month, is the most popular one. It attracts millions of devotees. This annual mega event is a special occasion for all Hindu devotees as the Gods come out of their sanctum to give darshan to their devotees.  

The old and the sick who cannot visit the shrine get an opportunity to see and seek the deity's blessings during the festival. As per the local beliefs, such an open religious celebration puts the fear of death and natural calamities to rest.  

When to visit: June or July, specifically during the Hindu lunar month of Ashadha.

Rath Yatra 2024 Date and Timings:

Rath Yatra Date: Sunday, July 7, 2024

Dwitiya Tithi Begins: 04:26 AM on Jul 07, 2024

Dwitiya Tithi Ends: 04:59 AM on Jul 08, 2024

Things to see:

  • Jagannath Temple: The heart of the festival, where you can witness the deities and participate in rituals.
  • Rath Yatra Procession: Experience the grand spectacle of the chariot procession through the streets of Puri.
  • Gundicha Temple: Visit the temple where the deities stay for a few days during the festival, witnessing the rituals and ceremonies.

How to reach:

  • By Air: Fly to Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar, then take a taxi or bus to Puri.
  • By Train: Travel to Puri Railway Station, which is well-connected to major cities.

By Road: Drive or take a bus from nearby cities like Bhubaneswar or Kolkata.

About the Raths and Rath Yatra Rituals 

Three new Raths are built every year before the festival begins and are designed in a specific way. You can easily distinguish the difference by size, the number of wheels, and the colour. The main deity, Lord Jagannath’s rath or the chariot is known as Nandighosa. It has 16 wheels and is covered in red and yellow clothing. The charioteer of this Rath is Daruka, and the rope that pulls the rath is called Sankhachuda.  

Lord Balabhadra’s rath is known as Taladhvaja. It has 14 wheels, and it is clothed in red and green. The charioteer’s name is Matali, and the rope pulling the rath is Vasuli.  

Goddess Subhadra’s rath is named Deviratha or Darpadalana. It has 12 wheels and features red and black clothes. The charioteer is Arjun, and the rope is called Swarnachuda.

Three new Raths are built every year before the festival begins and are designed in a specific way. You can easily distinguish the difference by size, the number of wheels, and the colour. The main deity, Lord Jagannath’s rath or the chariot is known as Nandighosa. It has 16 wheels and is covered in red and yellow clothing. The charioteer of this Rath is Daruka, and the rope that pulls the rath is called Sankhachuda.  

Lord Balabhadra’s rath is known as Taladhvaja. It has 14 wheels, and it is clothed in red and green. The charioteer’s name is Matali, and the rope pulling the rath is Vasuli.  

Goddess Subhadra’s rath is named Deviratha or Darpadalana. It has 12 wheels and features red and black clothes. The charioteer is Arjun, and the rope is called Swarnachuda. 

Bahuda Yatra:

The return journey of the three deities from Gundicha Temple to the Lord Jagannath Temple is known as Bahuda Yatra. This procession marks the culmination of the ten-day celebration and typically begins on the tenth day of the Ashadha month.

Significance of the Rath Yatra festival 

The festival holds great significance for Hindus, especially those seeking moral merit and penance. It is believed that anyone who draws the rope connected to the Gods’ chariots or even gets to touch the rope or the chariot is said to gain several penances. Legend has it that all of the Lord’s accoutrements become one with the God himself during the festival.  

Why should you visit the Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra festival? 

Apart from seeking the blessing of God and bowing your heads in reverence to the deities, you must visit the festival to be in the divine atmosphere amidst all the other devotees and watch the festival celebrations unfold. Besides, it is a must-visit festival to learn about the rich Indian culture and the festive spirit.  

During the festival, you would see a colour riot everywhere, and there is just an aura of sheer joy and spirituality. The crowded shops, enthusiastic faces of the devotees, and the vibrant colours are a sight you cannot forget soon.  

Also, no Indian festival is complete with good food. During the festival, you can see various shops lining outside the temple and around the Lords’ Chariot Pathway selling Lord Jagannath’s favourite food items. Some of the most popular delicacies you must try are jaggery pancakes and Poda pitha.

Some interesting facts about the Puri Rath Yatra 

  • The chariot tops are made in a way that they resemble the temple structure. A team of 15 most skilled tailors in Puri make the canopies from 1200 metres of cloth.  
  • Before the rath yatra or the journey of the gods on the chariots commences, the Gajapati, the king of Puri, is supposed to sweep the floor with a golden broom. This act of cleaning the lord’s path symbolises the fact that even the king is only a servant of God.  
  • As per the records, there has not been a single Rath Yatra that has not witnessed heavy rains. On the day of the festival, Puri receives heavy rainfall every year.  
  • The Jagannath temple follows many restrictions throughout the year. For example, no one other than Hindus is allowed inside the temple. However, on the day of Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra, anyone and everyone can catch a glimpse of the lord and seek his blessing, irrespective of their religion or caste.  
  • The word ‘juggernaut,’ which means the powerful and overwhelming force, is believed to be derived from the gigantic chariot of Lord Jagannath. The British coined this word after seeing this chariot during the Rath Yatra festival. 
  • With the Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra festival just around the corner, get your booking done and embark on an exciting trip. If you are visiting Puri for the festival and want to explore other nearby places in Puri, you can check for the best resort in the east and get your bookings done in advance to avoid last-minute hassles. 

The annual Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra, a revered Hindu festival, unfolds in the sacred city of Puri, India, celebrating the profound bond between Lord Jagannath and his devotees. Every year, millions of pilgrim’s flock from across the globe to partake in this divine event. Delve into this article to gain insights into the Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra, Puri Jagannath Temple, fascinating facts about the temple, and discover the optimal time to embark on a spiritual journey to this holy site.

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