Known as the “Chariot Festival” in English, the Rath Yatra is an annual procession of deities Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra. An exuberant and important Hindu fest, the Rath Yatra is also referred to as the Puri Rath Yatra as it takes place in Puri, Odisha. This Rath Yatra goes back centuries; it is believed that the Rath Yatra dates back to the 10th century and is also mentioned in Hindu epics like Brahma Purana and Padma Purana. The basic tenet of this festival is to celebrate the visit of Lord Jagannath to Gundicha temple and Mausi Maa temple in Puri. This year, the festival starts on 6th July and the return journey or the “Bahuda Jatra” falls on the 15th of July. If you want to attend and enjoy this unique festival, plan a trip to Puri this July! You will find tons of amazing hotels in Puri that offer the best in comfort and convenience.
Considered a form of Lord Vishnu, Lord Jagannath has a huge following that turns up each year to attend the big procession that starts at the famous Jagannath temple. This trip to the Jagannath temple is one of the four pilgrimages known as “Char Dham” that a Hindu is expected to make in his life. It is believed that Lord Jagannath, along with his brother and sister Balabhadra and Subhadra, leave their home and travel to the Gundicha temple to honour the devotion of Queen Gundicha, King Indradyumna’s wife, who built the Jagannath temple.
During the procession, three opulently decorated chariots that look like temples are pulled through the streets which marks the beginning of the yatra. The chariots are accompanied by countless devotees, Indian and otherwise, and lots of lovely devotional music is played throughout. Millions of devotees and tourists visit Puri during this festival to get a glimpse of the festival and join in the merriment.
Have you ever visited Puri before and participated in the Rath Yatra? If not, then book one of the amazing Puri hotels on Travelguru and enjoy the experience of a lifetime!