Discover Interesting Facts of Jagannath Rath Yatra

Rath Yatra Jagannath

 

Today, 6th July, world is eulogizing the Rath Yatra Festival. Let us apprise you with some of the interesting facts and myths bunched up with Jagannath Festival. They will amaze you all irrespective of the fact that you celebrate this festival or not. Read on.

 

Reason to Celebrate Jagannath Rath Yatra

Myth 1 – Unlike today in ancient time the lower castes and the untouchables were prohibited from entering the temple premises, so to answer the prayers of his devotees The Lord would himself  ring out to give a chance to socially outcasts to have a glimpse of their Almighty. Rath is used as metaphor, a manifestation convincing that God arrive at their doorstep.

casteism
Casteism in temple

Myth 2 – Some say that Subhadra ( younger sister of Lord Jagannath) wanted to get out of the palace  and see  the town. This  day both her brothers lord Jagannath ( who is also a form of God Krishna ) and Lord Balabhadra took her out on chariot. Hence in remembrance of this event Jagannath Rath Yatra is celebrated .

Subhadra
Krishna, Balbhandra and Subhadra

Myth 3 – Whereas few mythologists claims that Krishna’s ( Lord Jagannath’s ) evil uncle Kansa plotted against Krishna. He invited both Lord Krishna and Lord Balabhadra to Mathura with the intention of killing them . The day the two brothers left for Mathura is celebrated as Jagannath Rath Yatra.

Kansa Krishna
Lord Krishna and Kans

 

Lord Jagannath and His Connotation in Hindu Mythology

Lord Jagannath is believed to be the unburnt body of Lord Krishna which came floating through the sea. However built in 12th and 13th century Jagannath became the first deity among the Hindu to be placed inside the temple for the purpose of worshipping. Before this only Buddhists worshipped dietes and Hindu worshipped human form .

Krishna
Unburnt body of Lord Krishna

This God of ours also has a connection with the Egyptian family. Lord Jagannath has many similarities with AMUN , the powerful creator god of ancient Egypt – both have blue complexion and a feather in their head. In fact the Rath festival also has resemblance with the Grand OPET FESTIVAL or EGYPTIAN CAR FESTIVAL which is celebrated over a period of 24-27 days  during the flooding season of river Nile .

Egyptian God and Krishna
Egyptian God and Krishna
Egyptian Car Festival
Egyptian Car Festival

Whereas some mythologists liens that the face of Lord Jagannath is bird like, in costume akin to kathakali and chhou dance resembling dietes from Tibet, Bali and Sri Lanka.

Kathakali
Kathakali and Chhou Dance

 

 

The Celebration

Coming back to the festive mood of this massive festival. Over 1 million pilgrims visit Puri ( in Odhisa) during Rath Yatra. Gigantic and florid Rath ( chariots) are made. Lord Jagannath’s Rath is 45.6ft high comprising of 18 wheels and is referred as Nandighosa. Next in line comes Lord  Balabhadra’s chariot which is 45 ft high comprising of 16 wheels and is known as Taladhuaja. Last in groove comes Devi Subhadra’s chariot which is 44.6ft high comprising of 14 wheels and is known as Devadalana.

Jagannath
Jagannath Rath and Crowd

All the chariots are pulled by millions of devotees from main temple to Shri Gundicha Temple (their aunt’s house).

 

The Prasad, Prasada or Prasadam

Prasada
Bhog

A mysterious feature is the ABASHA, the prasad that is cooked miraculously. It is said that the pots are placed one above the other over the fire. What is extraordinary is the fact that the pot that is further most from the fire i.e at the top cooks first. Interesting isn’t it ? 56 types of BHOGs ( foods) are prepared.

 

Few More Interesting Facts

New chariots are made every year and new idols are created every 12 years . The latest idol created was in 2015.

The Gajapati king cleans and sweeps the dietes and chariot with a gold handled broom.

Gajapati King
Gajapati King

After Puri the second largest celebration of Rath in Asia takes place in Ranchi where tribals celebrate this day as their  Valentine’s days. Ya, u read it write ! It is believed that youngsters unite with their lovers here.

Valentine
Tribal Valentine

In all, this festival brings bundles of joy for all. Be a part of this mirthful carnivorous celebration.

A very happy Rath Yatra to all. Rejoice!

 

One who recites of holy feet of Krishna

Worries don’t touch him

Adoring Govinda’s holy feet in heart,

If moves eye shut

If runs without knowing the pathway

That being never falls down.

 

 

 

 

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Shreejeeta Ghosh

Shreejeeta, coming forward from the keen interest in classical dance has well stepped into literature and writing, to begin with lifestyle. While pursuing English (H) she has explored writing for college and school magazines and now actively associated with chaaicoffee. Love to research and deliver her best.

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3 Thoughts to “Discover Interesting Facts of Jagannath Rath Yatra”

  1. Nirmal Rakhroy

    Good to read. Got to know nice facts about the Jaganath Puri rath yatra. Looking forward for more such interesting articles from you.

  2. Anshuman

    Very informative and interesting article

  3. ChaaiCoffee ChaaiCoffee

    Thank you Nirmal Rakhroy and Anshuman, we will keep our efforts on for more interesting articles. Keep visiting.

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