Probably a lot of people know about the Rath Yatra, but there will be very few people who know why the Rath Yatra is celebrated.
Rath Yatra is a very famous festival celebrated in India. But there is a lot of difference between the rest of the festivals and Rath Yatra, because Rath Yatra is not a festival celebrated by worshiping or fasting in homes or temples.
This festival is gathered and celebrated. Rath Yatra is carried out in this festival. Rath Yatras are carried out in two cities in the country on this festival.
There is a grand temple of Lord Jagannath in the coastal city of Jagannathpuri in the Indian state of Orissa, this city is mainly known as Puri.
Every year a huge Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath is taken out in Puri. The Jagannath temple of Puri has been considered one of the Char Dham of India.
Although the chariot journey of Lord Jagannath is carried out in Ahmedabad also, the chariot journey of Puri is more famous.
So today I thought why should you all be provided complete information about the Rath Yatra, including what is the Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra, why is the Rath Yatra celebrated and how is it celebrated? Then let’s start without delay.
What is Rath Yatra?
Rath Yatra is a festival which is celebrated once every year, mainly by the Hindus.
This festival is considered different from the rest of the Hindu festivals, because the rest of the Hindu festivals are mainly celebrated by worshiping or fasting in their homes or temples.
But this festival is different from them because everyone gathers and celebrates this festival. This festival is celebrated by taking out the Rath Yatra in Puri city. This festival is celebrated for 10 days.
Puri city is located in the state of Orissa in India, which is also known by the names of conch region, Srikshetra, Purushottam Puri etc.
The people of this city consider Lord Jagannath the main deity and Puri is considered to be the main Leela land of Lord Jagannath.
The main festival here is also the night journey of Lord Jagannath. Rath Yatra festival is celebrated with great pomp and show.
Lakhs of devotees come from abroad to avail the philosophy of Rath Yatra.
When is the Rath Yatra celebrated?
The rath yatra begins in Jagannathpuri on the second day of Ashadh Shukla. This rath yatra lasts for 10 days.
It is believed that Lord Jagannath resides among people from the second half of Ashada Shukla to Dashami.
The festival of Rath Yatra is a festival celebrated continuously for hundreds of years. Every year lakhs of devotees arrive to join the Rath Yatra.
The number of devotees participating in the Rath Yatra is increasing year after year.
Lord Jagannath ji is considered as the form of the couple idol of Lord Krishna and Radha. The preparation of Rath Yatra is started every year from Basant Panchami.
For the chariot journey of Lord Jagannath ji, a chariot is prepared from select trees of Neem. Good and auspicious trees are identified for the wood of the chariot, in which the nails etc.
are not stopped and no metal is used in the construction of the chariot.
Why Rath Yatra is celebrated
The festival of Lord Jagannath’s Rath Yatra is celebrated every year. There are some beliefs behind celebrating this festival.
From which it is well-known belief that Lord Jagannath’s sister Subhadra expressed a desire to see Lord Jagannathji to visit Dwarka, due to which Lord made Subhadra travel on a chariot, since then Jagannath Yatra is taken out on this day every year.
Three chariots are prepared for the chariot journey of Lord Jagannath. At the forefront of the chariot journey is the chariot of Sri Krishna’s elder brother Balaram, which has 14 wheels and is called Taladhwaja, the second chariot is of 16-wheeled Sri Krishna known as Nandighosh or Garunadhwaja and the third chariot is Sri Krishna’s sister Subhadra.
It has 12 wheels and is called darpadalan or padmarath. All three chariots are identified by their color and length.
Story of chariot journey
An old story behind Rath Yatra is known that Lord Jagannath was born on the day of Jyeshtha Purnima.
On that day Lord Jagannath, his elder brother Balarama and sister Subhadra are taken off the Ratnasinhasan and taken to the bathing pavilion near the temple of Lord Jagannath.
Then he has a royal bath with 108 kalas, which makes Lord Jagannath fall ill and he gets fever. After this, Lord Jagannath is kept in a special place which is called Osar Ghar.
After 15 days, Lord Jagannath comes out of his home healthy and gives darshan to the devotees. It is also called Navyavan Eye Festival.
After this, on the second day of Ashadh Shukla, Lord Jagannath, his elder brother Balaram and sister Subhadra ride in a chariot and go for a city tour.
How is the Rath Yatra celebrated?
Three chariots are prepared for the chariot journey of Lord Jagannath. When all the three chariots are ready, then ‘Chhar Pahanra’ ritual is performed.
By worshiping these three chariots, the chariot and the way are cleaned with a golden broom. The rath yatra begins on the second date of Ashada Shukla Paksha.
This yatra is carried out with drums and the devotees pull the chariot and earn a reward.
The Rath Yatra starts from the Jagannath Temple and travels through the city of Puri to reach the Gundicha Temple.
On the 10th day, the chariot again departs towards the temple. The temple gates are opened on those 11 days. On this day, devotees take a bath and see God.
Importance of Rath Yatra
The present temple at Puri is more than 800 years old and is considered one of the four holy shrines.
It is said that the devotees who get the privilege of pulling the chariot of the Rath Yatra are considered very fortunate. According to the mythological belief, the person pulling the chariot gets salvation.
Ancy believes that on this day God himself visits the city and comes among the people and participates in their happiness and sorrow.
It is also believed that the devotees who go to the Rath Yatra and see God and salute the dust of the road and throw it in mud etc., they get the best abode of Shri Vishnu.
The most important thing is that on the day of Rath Yatra, no one worships in the temple and house, collectively celebrate this festival and no discrimination is seen in it.
Why do Rath Yatra celebrate?
I hope that you must have liked this article why my Rath Yatra is celebrated.
It has always been my endeavor that the readers should be provided complete information about what the Rath Yatra is, so that they do not have to search in any other sites.
This can even save their time and they’re going to additionally get all the data in a single place.