Rath Yatra in India ― Date, History, and Details

Rath Yatra in India

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History of Rath Yatra in India and How to Celebrate/ Observe It

Rath Yatra is a Hindu festival that commemorates the journey of Lord Jagannath, his sister Subhadra and his brother Balabhadra from their temple in Puri to the Gundicha Temple, a distance of about 3 kilometres (2 mi). The festival occurs every year on the second day of the bright half of the lunar month of Ashadha (June–July). The festival is also known as Dalkela jatra or Chandana yatra.

The Ratha-yatra (“chariot festival”) is one of the most important festivals for devotees of Jagannath. It is also one of the largest and most crowded religious processions in the world. The festival involves a large number of devotees who pull the chariots of Jagannath, Subhadra and Balabhadra through the streets of Puri.

The three chariots of Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra are newly constructed every year and are decorated with floral designs. The chariots are drawn by devotees through the streets of Puri to the Gundicha Temple. The journey takes about two hours and is accompanied by music and chanting.

At the Gundicha Temple, Jagannath and his siblings are offered special food and puja. They stay at the temple for seven days, after which they return to the main temple in Puri. The return journey is known as the Bahuda Yatra.

The Ratha-yatra is a popular festival in Puri and is also celebrated in other parts of India, including Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai.