The Rath Yatra of Jagannath Puri is one of India’s biggest religious festivals called the biggest Chariot Pulling festival of the world.
If you have visited Odisha, you must have landed on the land of Lord Jagannath called Jagannath Puri. But visiting Puri in the month of June-July gives a different experience. Experiencing the biggest chariot pulling festival in the world was such a wonderful moment for my friend Bhaskar and I.
Bhubaneswar to Puri by Road
I rode around 130Km on my Scooty to reach Bhubaneswar from Dhenkanal, Odisha. To the very next day, my friend joined me and we had another wonderful ride of 70 Km to Puri. We took around 2 hours to reach Puri. All the road entering the city were barricaded with Odisha Police because of Rath Yatra in Puri. No one was allowed to enter the main road through which we can reach to Puri Beach. So, we checked into a hotel on a different side of the beach. Spending very less of the time at the beach we rushed toward the street where the world biggest chariots carrying deities are being pulled.
The first view of the mighty chariot on the street
Last night, it had downpour in the city, so the streets were waterlogged somewhere. Till morning it was shower all around the city still the street was full of devotees. After travelling for 2 to 3 hours we finally reach the main street where the giant chariots are being pulled. The first view of the mighty chariot of Lord Jagannath having 45.6 feet in height was astounding for us. For the 1st time in my life, I show such huge temple-like structure that is pulled by a hundred of devotees. The even more surprising is that another side there was two another such big chariots of Lord Balaram of Lord 45 feet high and chariot of Goddess Subhadra of 44.6 feet.
About Rath Yatra of Puri
Ratha Yatra (Ratha Jatra in Odia) is the Festival of Chariots of Lord Jagannatha celebrated every year. The presiding deities of the main temple, Lord Jagannatha, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra, with the celestial wheel Sudarshana are taken out from the temple to their respective chariots. The chariots are built every year only from a particular type of tree woods. The huge, colourfully decorated chariots, are drawn by hundreds and thousands of devotees on the Bada danda, the grand avenue to the Gundicha temple, some two miles away to the North. It is rare that the presiding deities come out of the temple for such ritual journeys. The sanctity of the festival is such that even a touch of the chariot or even the ropes with which these are pulled is considered enough to confer the results of several pious deeds or penance for ages. We feel the same after touching the Huge Rope which was pulling the chariot.
Shree Jagannath Temple
Shree Jagannath temple is one of the most impressing monuments of the Indian state Odisha. This astounding Vaishnava temple enshrines Lord Jagannath, Devi Subhadra and Balabhadra. The main temple of Jagannath is an impressing and amazing structure constructed in Kalinga architecture, with a height of 65 meters placed on an elevated platform. Shree Jagannath Temple is one of the Dhamas (Holiest of the holy place) out of four Dhamas i.e. Puri, Dwarika, Badrinath & Rameswar, in India. The happiest thing for me is that I have completed the journey to these four Dhamas . In the coming travel story, I will take you to one of them.
This year because the outbreak of Pandemic COVID 19, Rath Yatra 2020 on its historic move, Lord Jagannath rides chariots in Puri without devotees.
Other places to visit in Puri
- Golden beach (Puri Beach)
- Sun temple of Konark
- Chilika Lake
Blog by : Mukesh
Jai Jagannatha (जय़ जगन्नाथ) 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏