Puri Rath Yatra is a festival dedicated to Lord Jagannath, who is said to be one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu. This year the Rath Yatra will take place on Monday, 12 July 2021. Keep reading to know more about the Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra.
Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra 2021
Rath Yatra, also known as Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra, is an important Hindu event held every year at the famous Jagannath Temple in Puri, Odisha. It is one of the oldest Rath Yatras in the world. Every year on this day, the idols of Lord Jagannath and his siblings (Goddess Subhadra and Lord Balabhadra) are decorated and chariots are pulled by hundreds of devotees for the 3 km journey (from Jagannath temple to Gundicha temple). According to the Hindu calendar, the Rath Yatra is organized on the second day of the month of Ashadha. It occurs in the months of June or July according to the Gregorian calendar.
Jagannath means “Lord of the Universe”. Jagannath Temple is one of the four Hindu pilgrimage sites known as the Char Dham pilgrimage, which every Hindu aspires to visit at least once in his lifetime.
Rath Yatra Date 2021:
Dwitiya Tithi will start on 11th July 2021 at 07:47 and will end on 12th July 2021 at 08:19.
All about Jagannath Puri
There are many events held in Jagannath Temple throughout the year. Nobo Koliboro’s festivities are arguably the grandest. Lord Jagannath’s reincarnation, or transfer from one body to another, is celebrated by Nobo Koliboro. This ceremony takes place every 15 to 19 years. The ritual is most auspicious during the month of Jyeshtha (June–July), which has two full moons in an adhimas year.
Bana Yagya Yatra is the first event of the year. The participants of the yatra served as the arrival of Lord Jagannath at Puri. The Gajapati Raja of Puri assigns roles to various actors. Purusha Visvavasu (tribal follower of Nilamadhava), Vidyapati, Lord Jagannatha, the Lenka servant in charge of writing, and the first brahmin to see Vishwakarma, the creator of the universe and the divine engineer. On his forehead, the main characters wear a unique khandua (a silk cloth stitched with colored threads). Hand woven lines of Gita-Govinda are woven in this Khandua. They set out on a journey to Dasaphala in search of a suitable tree from which to carve the deity and keep the Lord’s Brahma (soul). They stop at the Mangala Devi temple in Kakatpur and offer her gifts from the Lord. In return, they ask for his help in finding the tree. Vishwakarma servants should dream of the location of the tree while resting in the Devi Math. They go in search of wine (tree) the next morning. Lenka finds the tree and garlands it before placing Sudarshan (Lord Vishnu’s sword) under it.
After this the tree is washed and worshipped. It is touched with an ax of gold and silver before Vishwakarma sevaks cut it into square logs. A tamarind wooden cart is brought to take these sacred logs back to the temple. Before the chaupatas are placed in the box, they are wrapped securely in silk and tied with khandua cloth. The logs are taken to the temple at Puri and stored in the Nirman Griha (“House of Creation”) for a month, hidden from public view. Only the most senior priests are allowed to participate in the casting of the new body of the Lord. The senior priest has the right to perform Ghata Parivartan (“Brahma Transfer”). After a Sudikriya (purification ceremony), the previous idol and the pieces of the previous year’s chariot are buried.
Lord’s birthday in the month of Jyeshtha is celebrated as Snan Yatra. The Lord and his brothers and sisters are marched through the streets with trumpets, music and carnival fanfare. They are adorned with crowns of flowers, hidden from public view, and traditionally bathe in one hundred and eight pots of water from the Suna Kuan (golden well) within the temple complex. The deities are dressed in hastibesh (elephant dress) for darshan after their washing. This practice has been going on for generations. The Gajapati king is said to have once welcomed a prominent Hindu scholar to his court. The emperor asked the scholar to accompany him to the Shrimandir, but the scholar refused, saying that he only worships Lord Ganesha. On the other hand, hesitant scholars were astonished when Lord Jagannath the elephant came to him in the form of Lord Ganesha. Hastibesh represents the Lord’s affection for all his devotees.
It is said that after this grand bath the deities get coolness. To heal, they withdraw from public view for fifteen days. The name given to this period is Anvasara. The eyes of the Lord are depicted on his newly washed body in Netrotsav. The Rath Yatra officially begins the next day.
“When the holy idols are brought and placed on their chariots, thousands of people fall on their knees and bow their heads in the dust. Back and forth large crowds shouted and pulled the wheeled buildings along the road towards the countryside of Lord Jagannath. – Puri, 1886 Imperial District Gazetteer. Lord Jagannath, Goddess Subhadra and Lord Balabhadra have made their chariots for him. Each includes a primary deity as well as nine others. Nine sages are also depicted on each chariot. They are believed to represent the nine planets of the universe. Chariots can be identified by their name, colour, chariots, horses and even the bridle used to control them. The red and yellow chariot of Lord Jagannath is the biggest chariot, whose height is 45 feet. It is called Nandighosh, and it takes two months to form on its own. Shankh, Shweta, Balhak and Haridas are the horses entrusted with the task of carrying the chariot of the Lord. The horses are led by Maruti, the charioteer of the Lord.
Chera Panhara officially begins the ceremony. The Gajapati kings wash the platform of each chariot before being allowed to proceed as “servants of the Lord”. Devotees pull these huge chariots to the abode of Gundicha, the ‘Garden House’ of the goddess, three kilometers down the main road.
They spend a week with him. Goddess Lakshmi is said to have been furious for leaving behind her husband, Lord Jagannath, who is said to have damaged his chariot during this period. Hera Panchami is the modern name for this festival; The word “hera” means “to find.” The three siblings leave for a ‘bahuda yatra’ (return journey) at their aunt’s house. The devotees waiting for their arrival in the Shrimandir are welcomed and welcomed. ‘Suryabesh’ is a gold-studded form which the deity assumes after adorning all the ornaments made of the gifts of his worshippers. This small sight is reminiscent of his homecoming. On the other hand, the Lord of the universe is not yet allowed to enter his abode. It is said that Goddess Lakshmi is still angry with her Lord. She locks the door distraught, and refuses to let him in. The Lord of the universe asks him for forgiveness and tries to persuade him for his purposes. Devi finally accedes to his repeated requests and allows him to enter her house.
Niladri Bije, which symbolizes the return of the deities to the sanctum, marks the end of the journey. In 1825, 2.25 lakh pilgrims visited the Puri temple; 190 years later, in 2015, the Nobo Koliboro festival in Puri attracted a record 17.5 lakh worshippers.
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