India is well known for its festivals and the vibrant colors it brings along with it. Every state has its own traditional festival throughout the year to depicting the root of cultural devotion. Jaganath Puri temple and the Rath yatra held every year in Odisha is a supreme example of one such wonderful and poignant festival that lures crowd in thousands.
Today, India Imagine gives you a tour of the magnificent temple of Odisha and some events related to it.
History of Jagannath Puri Temple
Knowing the history will give us a blissful knowledge on the rising and establishment of one of the greatest temples and mass festival held related to it. Jagannath Puri temple was built by King Anantavarman Chodaganga who belonged to the Ganga dynasty long back in the 12th century. The temple’s inner sanctum consisted of three deities Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra who are worshipped at the prior. At some point in time during the reign of Aurangzeb the temple was forced to shut down. It was around 1707, the temple again reopened, after Aurangzeb’s death. But after that, the charm and grandeur of the temple rise up to the utmost level that it went on to become India’s popular temple which endured the most famous Rath Yatra of all times.
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Elaborate view of various yatra at Jagannath Puri Temple.
Jagannath temple offers a daily worship ritual to its devotees. Several festivals are held throughout the year including the famous Rath yatra. However, there are precise steps that mark the beginning and towards the grand Rath yatra.
The entire Rath yatra festival marks start from the day of Akshaya Tritiya which is called Chandan yatra which marks the beginning of the construction of the Rath( Chariots).
After which, on the month of Jyesha ( according to Hindu calendar) particularly noted day of “Purmima” the idol of the Gods is bathed and beautifully decorated for further steps.
Anavasara or Anasara yatra
After the grand Snnana Yatra the idol of the Gods are taken to an altar ” Anavasara Ghar” where they will remain fortnight till Krishna Paksha strictly prohibiting devotees or others to view them. The devotees have to wait for long 14 days till the grand Rath yatra to meet their beloved deity.
The grandeur of all the festival: Rath Yatra
It is said that the Lord Jagannath who remains in the temple sanctum comes out to the streets once a year in a massively built Rath to meet his devotees. Usually, the Rath yatra takes place in the month of Asadha ( June or July). The yatra starts from the main temple to the streets of Puri and heads towards the Shri Gundicha temple and back from there.
The Chariots of the deities Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subdhra are constructed with utmost love and devotion. Every year new chariots are built with particular wood and materials. Each chariot has the name assigned to them –
Chariot of Shri Jagannath – Nandighosha.
Balabhadra – Taladhwaja
Subhadra – Darpadalana
The Rath of each deity is decorated with different colorful flowers. Thousand gathers here, to get a glimpse of this magnificent manmade chariot for their beloved deities. During the Rath Yatra, there are several various rituals associated with it. One of the most important rituals is “chhera pahara” that lasts for two days. Finally, the deities are taken back with a grand celebration inside the main shrine and installed on the Simhasan on “Niladri Bije” called the last day!
People all over the world flew in just to get a glimpse of the festival ad that touches the chariot. If you have not attended the festival, make sure to list it out as one of the main items in your “To-do list” for this one for sure not to be missed.
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2020 Rath-Yatra details:
Date 2020: 23 June, Tuesday
Place: Shri Jagannath Temple, Puri