Rath Yatra: The Journey Of The Divine Mahaprabhu Jagannath’s Chariot

Rath Yatra: The Journey Of The Divine Mahaprabhu Jagannath’s Chariot
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OT Staff
August 02 , 2022
06 Min Read

Rath Yatra or Jatra is the celebration of Lord Jagannath, who is believed to be the Lord of the Universe journey towards his aunt’s house. Attracting thousands of devotees and visitors each year in Jharkhand, the Rath Yatra is held on Shukla Paksha Dwitiya tithi in the month of Aashadha. This year it was celebrated on July 01, 2022.

Jagannath Temple in Ranchi is a 17th-century temple dedicated to Lord Jagannath. It was built by the king of Barkagarh, Jagannathpur Thakur Ani Nath Shahdeo, in 1691. Completed on December 25, 1691, it is located about 10 km from the main town. The temple is on top of a small hillock.

According to mythological beliefs, on this day, Goddess Subhadra, the younger sister of Lord Jagannath, expressed her desire to roam around the city and that’s how the procession began.

The Jagannath Rath Yatra has always adhered to the same rituals, which is what makes it so holy. Nothing has been altered during this festival. Rath Yatra has historically been observed annually in Jharkhand. Throughout this well-known event, Lord Jagannath and his siblings Devi Subhadra and Lord Balabhadra are adored.

According to the spiritual significance of Katha Upanishad- The festival talks about the Human body as Rath and sarathi or driver as God, who drives the chariot of the body to the yatra/journey to material existence or Bhavasagar. Classically it is mentioned as the soul drive within the Rath of body, which has been intellect and total devoted to God the driver of the chariot towards the material existence. The wheels are the significance of velour.

The famous Jagannath Rath Yatra of the capital Ranchi witnessed a huge crowd of devotees on Friday. Lakhs of devotees attended the Rath Yatra along with Governor Ramesh Bais and Chief Minister Hemant Soren and the entire capital reverberated with the hail of Lord Jagannath. The Jagannath Temple Rath Yatra here got a new chariot after a gap of 12 years.

Hon’ble Governor Ramesh Bais stated that he had the honor of making prayers at the feet of Lord Jagannath, brother Balabhadra, and sister Subhadra at the Jagannath Temple in Ranchi. At the same time, Hon’ble Chief Minister Hemant Soren prayed to Mahaprabhu Jagannath to continue bestowing his blessings on everyone and to further Jharkhand’s development.  Pandit Rajeshwar and Madan duly completed the work of worship. After offering prayers to Lord Jagannath, elder brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra from the Jagannathpur temple in Ranchi, a Rath Yatra was taken out in the evening.

Numerous people followed the journey pulling the ropes of the chariot. This is considered to be a pious act by the devotees. The deities are kept in Mausi Bari for six days. On the seventh day, the chariot returns to the Jagannath temple with the deities. The return journey is known as Ghurti Rath Yatra. Thousands of devotees flock here during the Rath Yatra as it is believed that Lord Jagannath opens His eyes during this time to bless the worshippers

The last Rath Yatra had taken place two years prior. The Rath Yatra has been organized in conjunction with public prayer. Due to the pandemic, devotees had to wait two years before they could attend this historic ceremony.

This year, Lord Jagannath, traveled to his aunt’s home in a new chariot made after 10 years. This chariot has been prepared for 45 days.

The chariot is 42 feet tall, 26 feet long, and 26 feet wide, and it cost 40 lakhs. The day of Akshaya Tritiya saw the start of the chariot construction by carpenters. Brightly colored canopies in either red, black, yellow, or green are placed atop the chariots. Lord Jagannath uses red and yellow, Lord Balaram uses red and green, while Goddess Subhadra uses red and black. All the chariots have separate features to distinguish them from each other. Lord Jagannath’s chariot is called Chakradhwaja or Nandhighosa, which simply describes the tumultuous and blissful sound.

On the celebration, day devotees pull the chariots to mausibadi. This year’s Rath yatra was more special as it was the Nabakalebar Rath Yatra where all the Lords got new avatar after nineteen years. The return journey of Lords will be celebrated as Bahuda yatra on 9th July 2022. The Rath began to move in an atmosphere of devotion, raising emotions as the most anticipated moment had finally arrived.

The stretch from the foot of the Jagannath temple to the Mausi Bari temple is full of makeshift shops selling all kinds of stuff to draw customers. With Rath Yatra festivities to restart after two years in the state, the four-century-old temple has also been given a fresh coat of paint.

How to forget the delicious hot jalebis and the beautiful stuffs which are sold in every fair held in the city.

To ensure a peaceful Rath Yatra from the Jagannath temple to mausibadi, some 1,000 police officers, magistrates, and an equal number of volunteers were stationed in the city. In addition to the police officers stationed at the event, drones and watchtowers were used to monitor the audience. For the purpose of limiting traffic and pedestrian movement, more than 14 drop gates were built around the temple.

The crowd of devotees was engaged in the Dhurwa, Jagannathpur temple since the very first morning. People were visiting one by one. Adequate arrangements had been made so that the devotees would not face any problems in worshiping. Devotees were being entered from the main gate, while arrangements for evacuation had been made from the second gate. During this, attention was also being paid to the guidelines of Corona. The worship was done throughout the day. After this, the chariot pulling program began at 4.30 pm.

Spending time at the temple premises fills you with a spiritual understanding. Also, the temple overlooks the countryside giving you a magnificent panoramic view. .

 

As the special journey of the Lord begins, wishing everyone a blissful and prosperous year ahead

Getting there:  Jagannathpur Chowk Khataal, Sector 1 Jagannathpur, hec, Khataal, Dhurwa, Khataal, Jagannathpur, Ranchi, Jharkhand 834004

Where to stay: Birsa Vihar (a JTDC property) offers amazing architecture and attractive surroundings in captivating settings.

The hotel is conveniently situated beside Big Bazaar, Mahatma Gandhi Road which allows visitors to plan a stopover at some of the area’s most popular tourist attractions.

 


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