Lakhs descend on Puri to witness Rath Yatra
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The 140th Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath here concluded peacefully as the three chariots returned to the Jagannath temple late evening after covering around 15 kilometre-long route, which passed through the communally sensitive walled city area amid tight security.
About Rath Yatra:
Ratha Yatra or Ratha Jatra or Chariot Festival is a Hindu festival associated with Lord Jagannath held at Puri in the state of Odisha, India
. It is the oldest Ratha Yatra taking place in India and the World, whose descriptions can be found in Brahma Purana, Padma Purana, and Skanda Purana and Kapila Samhita.
This annual festival is celebrated on Ashadha Shukla Paksha Dwitiya (second day in bright fortnight of Ashadha month.
The festival commemorates Jagannath’s annual visit to Gundicha Temple via Mausi Maa Temple (aunt’s home) near Balagandi Chaka, Puri.
As part of Ratha Yatra, the deities of Jagannath,his elder brother Balabhadra and younger sister Subhadra are taken out in a procession to Gundicha Temple and remain there for nine days.They are also accompanied by Sudarshana chakra. Then the deities or Ratha Yatra return to the Main temple.
The return journey of Puri Jagannath Ratha Jatra is known as Bahuda Jatra.
Three richly decorated chariots, resembling temple structures, are pulled through the streets of Puri called Badadanda.
This commemorates the annual journey of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and their sister Subhadra to their aunt’s temple, the Gundicha Temple which is situated at a distance of 2 km from their temple.
This is the only day when devotees who are not allowed in the temple premises, such as non-Hindus and foreigners, can get their glimpse of the deities.
During the festival, devotees from all over the world go to Puri with an earnest desire to help pulling the Lords’ chariots with the help of other priests pulling the chariots with ropes. They consider this auspicious deed and risk their lives in the huge crowd.
For the first time, a company of National Security Guard (NSG) had been deployed to guard the procession.
About Odisha state:
Odisha (formerly Orissa), an eastern Indian state on the Bay of Bengal, is known for its tribal cultures and its many ancient Hindu temples
.Is home to hundreds of temples, notably the intricately-carved Mukteshvara.
The Lingaraj Temple complex, dating to the 11th century, is set around sacred Bindusagar Lake.
The Odisha State Museum is focused on the area’s history and environment.
Official song: Bande Utkala Janani
Destinations: Puri, Bhubaneswar, Konark, Chilika Lake, Cuttack, more
Colleges and Universities: Utkal University, more