Today is the first day of the famous festival of Orissa, India- The Rath Yatra. (The journey of chariots, rath-chariot, Yatra- journey)
The festival is about the journey of Lord Jagannath (Hindu God) in a rath ie a chariot. It’s a festival of seven days where Lord Jagannath along with his brother Badabhadra and sister Subhadra go on a vacation to their aunts’ place and return back on the eighth day in their respective chariots.
The craftsmen of Puri start building these giant wooden Raths a month before the festival to ensure their completion in time.They are then painted and decorated beautifully.
The idol of Lord Jagannath is placed on the rath and the journey starts only when the king of Puri sweeps the area around the idol with a broom. It symbolises that everybody a king or a common man is equal in front of Him.
The devotees then pull the rath by a rope and take it to the Lord’s aunts’s place.
The rath stays there for seven days. Devotees can pray and have darshan ( view of the holy rath and idol) this entire time.
On the eight day it is pulled back to the temple of Lord Jagannath. This return journey is called baudha jatra.
Here’s a pic Lord Jagannath in the form of sand art, another creativity originated from the land of Orissa.
Being born and brought up in Orissa, I have a special place for this festival in my heart. Today I couldn’t see a rath here in Maharastra where I live currently, didn’t see a person even mentioning about the festival, hence the need to write this post.
To create awareness about this holy festival. To take this festival out of Orissa for the whole country rather world to know about it.
May Lord Jagannath bless us all…
A very happy Rath Yatra to all you…
Day 10 of ultimate blog challenge.