Rath Yatra 2024

7 July 2024
Odisha    Regional holiday

Ratha Yatra is also called Navadina Yatra, Gundicha Yatra, Dasavatara and Gundicha Yatra. It is a yearly event dedicated to Lord Krishna (Lord Jagannath). The festival falls on the second day of Shukla Paksha as per the conventional Oriya Calendar. Ratha Yatra, also known as Chariot festival, falls either in June or in July each year. This festival attracts foreigners as well since it is globally acclaimed. Primarily, the festival of Ratha Yatra denotes equivalence and integration. It is a good opportunity for people to witness the divine being. Three divinities are worshipped on the festival day. They include Lord Balabhadra, who is the elder brother of Lord Jagannath; Subhadra, who is the sister of Lord Jagannath and Lord Balabhadra; and Lord Jagannath.

The divinities will be taken to the streets of the city of Puri so everybody can seek blessings. Each divinity has a chariot. While the chariot of Lord Balabhadra has 16 wheels, the chariot of Lord Jagannath has 18 wheels. Likewise, the chariot of Subhadra has 14 wheels. Jagannath Temple is believed to be the holiest temple in the country. Ratha Yatra is organised in Puri, which is a prime city in Odisha. Devotees entrust that Lord Krishna or Lord Jagannath desires to visit Mathura, which is his birthplace. They organise this festival in order to fulfil his desire yearly. Devotees also believe that they are freed from the phase of birth and death if they take devotedly take part in this festival. Muslims also celebrate the festival.

Devotees carry the idols of Lord Krishna, Lord Balabhadra and Subhadra to Gundicha Temple from Jagannath Temple. The idols are then positioned in chariots. Priests perform Snana Purnima, which is a custom wherein three idols are bathed with water (109 buckets). The bathed idols will be placed in isolation until the procession day.