RATHA YATRA (Car Festival PURI) 2021 in Odisha on 12 july 2021 (Sunday)



DURATION: 12/07/2021 Onwards for 9 Days

LOCATION: Puri, Odisha

The Festival

Jagannath Ratha Yatra is a huge Hindu festival associated with Lord Jagannath held at Puri in the state of Orissa, India during the months of June (Rainy Season). Most of the city’s society is based around the worship of Jagannath (Krishna) with the ancient temple being the fulcrum of the area. The festival commemorates Lord Jagannath’s annual visit to his aunt’s home.
Jagannath Balabhadra Subhadra Rath Yatra 2017 Car Festival Celebration PuriCoA glimpse of Lord Jagannatha on the chariot is considered to be very auspicious and saints, poets and scriptures have repeatedly glorified the sanctity of this special festival. The sanctity of the festival is such that even a touch of the chariot or even the ropes with which these are pulled is considered enough to confer the results of several pious deeds or penance for ages. In fact, there is a famous Oriya song which says that on this occasion, the chariot, the wheels, the grand avenue all become one with Lord Jagannatha himself.


Jagannath Rath Yatra consists of two words: rath, meaning a chariot; and yatra, which means a pilgrimage, a journey or a procession. Accordingly, rath yatra describes a procession of chariots, generally drawn by horses. Vedic scripture speaks of Rath in various contexts, and in the epic wars of the Mahabarath, Rathas formed a major means of movement of warriors. There were many famous Rath Yatras in Hindu legend.


Jagannath Ratha Jatra, the Festival of Chariots of Lord Jagannatha is celebrated every year at Puri, the temple town in Orissa, on the east coast of India on the second (dwitiya) day of shukla pakshya (waxing cycle of moon) of Ashadh Maas(3rd month in Lunar Calendar). The presiding deities of the main temple, Lord Jagannatha, Lord Balarama and Goddess Subhadra, with the celestial wheel Sudarshana are taken out from the temple precincts in an elaborate ritual procession to their respective chariots. The huge, colourfully decorated chariots, are drawn by hundreds and thousands of devotees on the bada danda, the grand avenue to the Gundicha (His Aunt) temple, some two miles away to the North. After a stay for seven days, the deities return to their abode.

Holiness and Its Significance

The festival is also known as Gundicha Jatra, Ghosa Jatra, Navadina Jatra, Dasavatara Jatra and by a variety of other names. For the devoted and believers, it is considered the most auspicious occasion. Rathe tu vamanam drishtwa punarjanmam na vidyate A glimpse of the Vamana,Atmanam rathinam viddhi sareeram rathamevatu Buddhim tu saarathim viddhi marah pragrahameva cha. The body is the Chariot and the soul is the deity installed in the chariot. The wisdom acts as the charioteer to control the mind and thoughts.The Skanda Purana glorifies the sanctity of the Rath Jatra in the following words
“Gundicha mandapam namam yatrahamajanam pura Ashwamedha sahasrasya mahabedi tadadvabat.”

The Chariots

The three chariots of Balarama, Subhadra and Jagannatha are newly constructed every year with wood of specified trees like phassi, dhausa, etc. customarily brought from the ex-princely state of Dasapalla, by a specialist team of carpenters who have hereditary rights and privilege for the same. The logs are traditionally set afloat as rafts in the river Mahanadi. These are collected near Puri and then transported by road.Around each of the chariots are nine Parsva devatas, painted wooden images representing different deities on the chariots’ sides. Each of the chariots is attached with four horses. These are of different colours – white ones for Balarama, dark ones for Jagannatha and red ones for Subhadra. Each chariot has a charioteer called Sarathi. The three charioteers attached to the chariots of Jagannatha, Balarama and Subhadra respectively are Matali, Daruka and Arjuna.

Accomodation for Visitors

Puri ranks among the most popular tourist destinations in India. In addition to being a tourist destination, this beautiful sea side destination is also a famous pilgrimage spot for the people of the Hindu community. Thousands of tourists come to Puri to spend a charming vacation. The inflow of tourists has led to the growth of a wide range of hotels in Puri. They offer pleasant lodging facilities and services.

Food for Visitors

A range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian food is served at the restaurants and hotels. Chinese, Indian and Continental figure on all the menus, though visitors might not always recognise the taste of the food served! Seafood is fresh from the waters of the Indian Ocean. Inexpensive eating out options are limited to the handful of cafes that dish up local food in platefuls. Vendors on and around the beach serve fast food like Bada, Jhal Muri, Potato Bada and noodles and all the Indian favourites.

How to Reach Puri

How to Reach Puri by Air

The nearest national airport in the state is at Bhubaneshwar. There are frequent flights from Calcutta, Delhi, Chennai and Hyderabad. Puri is 62 km away, a distance that can be covered by road or by rail. Ola and Uber Cab Service Available for convenience.

How to Reach Puri by Rail

Direct Express trains link Puri with Delhi, via Varanasi or Agra. There are trains to Calcutta and Guwahati too. Puri has a branch line of South Eastern Railway network connecting the southern Indian states to Puri. From other places in India, trains arrive at the nearest major junction at Bhubaneshwar, 62 km away or at Khurda Road, 44 km from Puri. Ola and Uber Cab Service Available for convenience.

How to Reach Puri by Bus

Puri and Bhubaneshwar are well connected by road; with frequent and fast state transport buses and minibus services that do the journey in few hours. Cars, Jeeps and other private vehicles also ply on the same route as do luxury buses run by Orissa Tourism Development Corporation.

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