The Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath, Devi Subhadra and Lord Balabhadra (together known as the Holy Trinity) is one of the prime festivals of Orissa, celebrated with much interest, dedication and passion in Orissa. This year, the esteemed rath yatra will start in the month of July. This is the time when the Holy Trinity of Jagannath Temple of Puri starts on their nine-day yearly journey to the Mausi Maa Shrine or Gundicha Shrine.
About the festival
Throughout the Jagannath Rath Yatra, the town of Puri, particularly the Grand Road or Bada Danda, experiences this divine fervour. This is the period when people take over issues like caste and religion. Enormous idols of gods are driven on three grand chariots, i.e. Nandighosha (Lord Jagannath), Taladhwaja (Balabhadra) and Darpadalana (Subhadra).
The rath yatra is perhaps one of the greatest and the grandest spectacles on the planet, where you can observe a group of visitors united together to get a sight of the deities, who visit their aunt’s residence for nine days. After that, they are moved to the Jagannath Temple on the 10th day. Their home-coming ride is acknowledged as Bahuda Yatra.
The ritual that follows
The Trinity, after returning home, stays in their chariots for an additional two days. In these two days, ceremonies such as Suna Besha and Adhar Pana are done. Suna Besha is the ritual of beautifying the gods in gold jewellery while Adhar Pana is when a sweet drink is arranged on the chariots and offered to the deities.
On a succeeding day (12th day), all the gods are taken back inside the Jagannath Temple in the ritual Pahandi procession. The Rath Yatra is concluded with the ceremony of Niladri Bije, when gods are offered rasagulla bhog.
How to reach Puri?
Puri is a stunning spiritual city, easily accessible from all Indian cities. The nearby airport is in the city of Bhubaneswar, approximately 60 km away. When it comes to the railway station, Puri has its private well-developed rail facility that joins the city to the rest of the world.