Jagannath Rath Yatra is one of the biggest festivals celebrated in the state of Odisha. Lakhs of devotees get together in Puri each year to participate in this holy rath yatra. Curious to know more about it? Read this article to find out everything about the festival honoring the Lord of the Universe- Lord Jagannath!
Jagannath rath yatra 2022 is going to be one of the biggest celebrations of the year in this country, like each year. Hoards of devotees assemble together to make the most of this pious yatra that is a part of the 11-day celebration. The idols of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balbhadra, and their sister, Devi Subhadra, are carried on chariots to nearby temples, returning them to the Jagannath Puri temple after a period of nine days.
This yatra is one of those festivals that has to be on your bucket list if you want to experience the true essence of India and its vivid cultural heritage. In this article, we will take you through all that you need to know about the grandeur of this holy festival. So, read on:
What Is The Jagannath Rath Yatra 2022 Date?
According to the Odia calendar, the holy rath yatra begins in the month of Asadha (June-July), on the second day of the bright fortnight. This year, the yatra will commence on July 1, 2022, with a lot of pomp and fervor. So, plan a trip or watch the festivities unfold at home on your television screens to make the most of this auspicious occasion.
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What Is The History Of Jagannath Rath Yatra?
The rath yatra is a well-known festival that attracts thousands of devotees each year from all around the world. This is an annual event that gives everyone, the sick, the old, the rich, and the poor, an opportunity to get the “darshan’ of the deities. So, let us know why this festival holds such great prominence in our country:
- The Puranas make many references to this rath yatra, but the earliest proof can be found in the Somavamshi dynasty, where there are references to the yatra of Lord Purusottama near the seashore.
- One can even find an iconography from the Ganga dynasty depicting the rath yatra with three chariots with 12 wheels and mandaps with torans that are characteristic of the current day yatra.
- It even shows two chattras that are symbolic of the royal status of the deities being carried in the chariots. These chattaras are still a big part of the procession and are extremely important to the devotees.
What Are The Jagannath Rath Yatra Rituals?
Lord Jagannath is a manifestation of Lord Krishna, who is the deity revered primarily in the Jagannath Puri temple of Odisha. The temple holds a lot of prominence in the Hindu religion and is one of the locations among the ‘Char Dhams’ that each Hindu visits in their journey to absolve themselves of their sins and get closer to salvation and spirituality. Here are the prominent rituals associated with the yatra:
- The temple has a rich history and is proof of our country’s vivid cultural heritage and past. According to the story in the Puranas, each year, Lord Krishna yearns to visit his birthplace in Mathura. Hence, he is taken to his aunt’s house, i.e., the Gundicha temple, 3 kilometers away from the main temple.
- On this journey, his brother, Lord Balbhadra, who is an avatar of Balarama, and his sister, Devi Subhadra, accompany him.
- All three of them go out in their respective chariots, and this journey is what is popularly known as the Jagannath Rath Yatra.
- On the ninth day, they return back to the main temple. However, en route, they also visit their Mausi (aunt), where they are offered Lord Krishna’s favorite, Poda Pitha.
- This Pitha is a sweet pancake that is given to the devotees as prasad on this day.
- After this, the three deities return back home and are re-installed on the 11th day of the festival.
Know More About Jagannath Rath Yatra 2022 Procession!
On the day of the festival, the three deities of the Jagannath temple and the Sudarshana Chakra are carried out in lavishly decorated chariots. Let’s find out more about the procession below:
- On this day, the King of Puri himself cleans the chariots for this holy yatra, decorating them with flowers, sweeping the floor around the chariots, and sprinkling sandalwood all along the path.
- Priests and devotees deem it a privilege to draw the chariots, and people try hard to get one chance to pull the deities’ chariots on this day.
- Devotional hymns and songs are sung all around, and the chariots are pulled in the midst of beating drums and trumpets.
- Lord Balbhadra’s rath is pulled first, followed by Lord Jagannath's’ and then finally, the rath of Devi Subhadra is pulled.
- Nine days later, when the deities return back to the temple of Puri, the yatra is called Bahuda Yatra.
- In this procession, Lord Jagganath’s chariot is pulled first.
- All the idols of the deities are decorated with jewels and gold and dressed up before re-installing them in the main temple on the 11th day, marking the end of the Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra 2022 date.
More Facts About Jagannath Rath Yatra Chariots:
New chariots are made every year for this auspicious occasion, and the construction starts on the day of Akshay Tritiya. Here are some more interesting facts about the mighty chariots of the rath yatra:
- The design of the three rathas is inspired by the Rekha deul temple style.
- Lord Jagannath’s chariot has 16 wheels and is covered in red and yellow. The chariot is called Nandighosha.
- Lord Balbhadra’s chariot has the colors red and green and has 14 wheels. It is called Taladhwaja.
- Devi Subhadra’s ratha bears red and black colors and has 12 wheels. The ratha is named Devadalana.
Myths and Legends Associated With The Rath Yatra:
The auspicious rath yatra has a lot of religious significance, and hence it should not come as a surprise that several myths are popular with regards to this day. Let’s get to know some of them below:
- It is believed that the mighty chariot of Lord Jagannath is not easy to budge. It takes multiple efforts and a few hours of chanting to appease the Lord. Cosmic blessings are then granted, and the Ratha begins to move.
- While the siblings visit Lord Jagannath’s birthplace, his wife, Goddess Laxmi, is left behind. It is believed that angered by this, she sets out to find him and visits the Gundicha temple 4 days later. When Lord Jagannath returns to the temple, she forbids him from entering. It takes many sweets and bhogs to finally placate her and the door of the temple is opened on the 11th day.
- It is believed that those who help pull the chariot are absolved of all their sins and can get a head start on the path of moksha. Devotees throng the place to get a glimpse of the deities and participate in the procession to get the blessings of the Lord on this propitious day.
As we all gear up for the festival of chariots, you too can visit Puri or get the full experience of the festivities by knowing more about the Jagannath Rath Yatra 2022 on Astroyogi!
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✍️By - Team Astroyogi