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Exploring the Culture of Jagannath Rath Yatra 2024

Jagannath Rath Yatra

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Introduction to Jagannath Rath Yatra 2024

The Jagannath Rath Yatra is a festival celebrated very keenly in the beautiful town of Puri, also known as Jagannath Puri, which is located in Odisha. The town is known for its beautiful and holy site- The Jagannath Temple, which has a rich historical and cultural significance.

The Jagannath Rath Yatra is regarded as the most famous yatra among the twelve festivals mentioned in the Skanda Purana. This festival is celebrated in the Hindu month of Ashadh (June-July). The Jagannath Rath Yatra 2024 will be observed on July 7th, which falls on Sunday. 

The deities who are worshiped on this day are Lord Jagannath, his brother- Lord Balabhadra, and his sister- Goddess Subhadra. Being the most renowned festival among Hindus, it calls for people from all over India to come, visit and celebrate this prosperous festival of the Jagannath Yatra.

The Jagannath Rath Yatra is celebrated in the month of Ashadh (Hindu Panchang) which usually starts in late June or Early July. This iconic festival is celebrated to commemorate the journey of the three deities (Lord Jagannath, his brother and his sister) from their home temple- the Jagannath Temple to Gundicha Temple, which are both located in Jagannath Puri. 

The three deities are taken in the chariots through the streets of Puri on the day of Shree Jagannath Rath Yatra to the Gundicha temple which is just a few kilometers away from the Jagannath Temple. 

The deities then stay there for nine days before returning to their home temple. In 2024, Shree Jagannath Yatra will be celebrated on the 7th of July (Sunday).

The rituals of Shree Jagannath Rathyatra 2024- Jagannath Puri

Every year, the festival of Jagannath Rath Yatra is celebrated with great enthusiasm and millions of devotees come to take part in the rituals of this auspicious day. It is believed that whoever gets to touch the chariots or even the rope pulling the chariots through the streets of Jagannath Puri during the Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra, gets the chance to repent for any sins he has done in his life.

Every year, before the Puri Rath Yatra, three huge wooden chariots are made, each for Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra. It is a great opportunity to learn about the divine culture of India and seek blessings from the Lord himself.

The Puri Rath Yatra or the Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra will be celebrated on Sunday, July 7th, 2024; which is the Shukla Paksha Dwitiya Tithi of Ashasd month according to the Hindu Calendar 2024.

One day before the Rath Yatra begins; the devotees come together at the Gundicha temple and clean it for the arrival of Lord Jagannath, his brother Balabhadra and his sister Goddess Subhadra.

A number of food shops and stalls are lined up in the streets of Jagannath Puri, serving delicious food items to everyone on the occasion of Jagannath Rath Yatra. This ritual of cleaning the temple by the Jagannath Puri devotees is said to be known as Gundicha Marjan (गुंडिचा मार्जन).

Jagannath Rath Yatra 2024- Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra

This ritual dates back to a couple of hundred years and it is a symbol of the temporal being overpowered by the spiritual. In this ritual, it is believed that the Raja, King of Puri, first offers his prayers with complete devotion to the deities in the chariot and cleans the platform with a golden broom. 

After the cleaning is done, flowers along with fragrant water are sprinkled onto the chariot with due respect. The chariots are then prepared for the departure with white, black and brown coloured wooden horses as well as thick ropes being fixed to the chariots for pulling them through the streets on the occasion of Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra.

Hera Panchami- Jagannath Rath Yatra

Hera Panchami (हेरा पञ्चमी) is a day followed by the Jagannath Yatra and it is celebrated on the sixth day of Ashadh Shukla. On this day, Goddess Lakshmi (Lord Jagannath’s wife), in search of Lord Jagannath, pays a visit to the Gundicha Temple.

After finding him there, she shows her anger towards Lord Jagannath for leaving her behind by causing damage to his chariot- Nandighosa. 

Suna Besha- Jagannath Rathyatra

In the ritual of Suna Besha, the three deities are adorned with jewelry made of gold. Suna Besha means Gold (Suna) and costume (Besha). This ritual takes place on the day of Bahuda Ekadashi during the Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra festival. 

The deities are decorated beautifully with gorgeous gold jewelry and a huge number of devotees from all over India come to see this sight, praise and seek blessings from their Lord.

Bahuda Yatra- Jagannath Rath Yatra

The journey of return of the three deities after staying at the Gundicha Temple for nine days back to the Jagannath temple is known as Bahuda Yatra. This yatra takes place on the 10th day after the festival. 

This festival is of great importance as a whole and people, especially Hindus, from all over the country come to participate in the Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra. It is said that during Bahuda Yatra, if someone gets a sight of the deities, it removes all the sins and gives unceasing delight to them.

Adhara Pana- Jagannath Rath Yatra

It is a ritual of offering flowers and sweet water to the deities of Jagannath Puri at the Gundicha Temple. The sweet water is offered in a pot which touches the lips of the deities; hence the name Adhara (lips) and Pana (sweet water).

The Jagannath Rath Yatra next month (Jagannath Rath Yatra 2024) will be on Sunday, July 7, 2024. 

Niladri Bije- Shree Jagannath Rath Yatra 2024

This is the last ritual of the iconic festival of Jagannath Puri. It can be said to be the concluding day of the Rath Yatra festival. The deities return to the Jagannath temple on this day.

It is also known as the Gundicha yatra and it is one of the most renowned and a huge religious event celebrated all over India. 7th July 2024 (Ashadh Month) will be the tithi for Shree Jagannath Rath Yatra next month. 

FAQs: for Jagannath Rath Yatra

1. Why is Jagannath Rath Yatra celebrated?

Shree Jagannath Rath Yatra  is celebrated to commemorate the journey of the three deities- Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra from their home to the Gundicha temple through the streets of Jagannath Puri.

2.What is the timing of Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra?

Timing: July 7, 2024- 5 PM.

3.What is the real story of Rath Yatra?

It is a nine day festival which commemorates the journey of Lord Jagannath, his brother Lord Balabhadra and his sister, Goddess Subhadra from Jagannath temple to Gundicha Temple.

4.Which avatar is Jagannath?

Lord Jagannath is an avatar of Lord Vishnu.

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