Hindu Festivals Calendar

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Puri Rath Yatra

July 7

Puri Rath Yatra

Puri Rath Yatra, also known as the Chariot Festival or Car Festival, is one of the most awaited Hindu festivals of the state of Odisha in India. The event is dedicated to Lord Jagannath (an incarnation of Lord Vishnu), his elder brother Balabhadra, and his sister Subhadra. It takes place every year in the month of Ashadha (June-July) as per the Hindu calendar.

The festival commemorates Lord Jagannath’s annual visit to Gundicha Mata’s temple, his aunt’s home, via Mausi Maa Temple (his maternal aunt’s home) near Balagandi Chaka in Puri. The three deities are taken in three grandly decorated chariots that are pulled by ropes by thousands of devotees.

The three chariots, built anew every year, are named as follows: the chariot of Lord Jagannath, called Nandighosa, has 18 wheels and is approximately 45 feet high; the chariot of Balabhadra, called Taladhvaja, has 16 wheels and is about 44 feet high; the chariot of Subhadra, known as Devadalana or Darpadalana, has 14 wheels and is approximately 43 feet high.

The journey from the Jagannath Temple to the Gundicha Temple is about 2.5 kilometers. The deities stay at the Gundicha Temple for nine days and then return to the Jagannath Temple. This return journey is known as Bahuda Jatra.

The Rath Yatra is a significant event and draws millions of devotees from across the world to Puri. Due to its grandeur and immense follower base, the festival has also been named “The Festival of Chariots”. The pulling of the Rath (chariot) is considered an extremely auspicious act, with devotees believing that doing so ensures divine blessings from the deity.

The festival became globally known when ISKCON founder A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada conducted a Rath Yatra in San Francisco in 1967. Since then, ISKCON has organized this festival in many countries worldwide.

Details

Date:
July 7
Event Category:
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Venue

Worldwide

Organizer

Worldwide

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