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Ratha Yatra – The Festival of Chariots

Festival of Chariot is Celebrate more than every year in the Temple town Puri  in Odisha , on next day of shukla pakhya of Ashadha Maasa . The managing gods of the Jagannath Temple, Puri’s principle temple , Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra, with the divine wheel (Sudarshana Chakra) are eliminated from the sanctuary in a formal parade to their chariots. The tremendous, brilliantly finished chariots are drawn by huge number of enthusiasts on the bada danda, the stupendous road to the Gundicha Temple, two miles away toward the North. In transit the chariot of Lord Jagannatha, Nandighosa holds up close to the crematorium of Bhakta Salabega a Muslim passionate to offer him recognition.

Lord Jagannatha – Ratha Yatra

On their way back from the Gundicha Temple, the three gods stop for some time close to the Mausi Maa Temple (Aunt’s dwelling place) and have a contribution of the Poda Pitha, which is a unique kind of flapjack expected to be the Lord’s top pick. Following a stay for seven days, the divinities re-visitation of their dwelling place.

Every Year the chariots of Lord Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhdra are constructed with wood of trees like Phassi, Dhausa, etc. The woods are brought from  Dasapalla by a specialist team of carpenters who have hereditary rights and privileges for a similar. The logs are traditionally set afloat as rafts within the river Mahanadi. These are collected near Puri then transported by road.

From hundreds of years, the three chariots are decorated as per the unique scheme prescribed and followed & stand on the Bada Danda (Grand Avenue) . The chariots are lined across the wide avenue in front of the temple near to its eastern entrance, which is additionally called the Sinhadwara or the Lion’s Gate.

Around every chariots are nine Parsva devatas, painted wooden images representing different deities on the chariots’ sides. Each chariot features a charioteer (Sarathi) and 4 horses.

The construction of the chariots starts on Akshaya Trutiya, the third day of Vaisakha. This happens in front of the palace of the King of Puri . The agricultural season starts and farmers start plowing their fields & also marks the start of the summer festival of the deities, also referred to as the sandalwood festival or Chandan Yatra, which lasts for 3 weeks. During this festival, the representative images of the presiding deities are taken call at colorful processions and given a ceremonial boat ride within the Narendra pokhari/tank a day . In a energize witness of the assimilative character of the Jagannatha culture, Madanmohana and Rama-Krishna, representing Jagannatha & Balarama partake within the festival with the representatives’ images of the presiding deities of 5 main Shiva temples of Puri.

These are curiously referred to as Pancha Pandava, the five brothers of the Mahabharata story. Later the deities have a ritual bath during a small temple within the middle of the tank, in stone tubs crammed with water, sandalwood paste, scents, and flowers.

This sandalwood festival(Chandan Yatra) culminates in the Snana Yatra, the washing Festival on the complete moon day of the month of Jestha. The presiding deities descend from their seats on an elevated platform within the sanctum sanctorum, the bejeweled throne. They’re bathed in 108 pots of water brought from the suna kua, the golden well and assume the elephant form on the special bathing platform, on the brink of the Eastern boundary wall of the temple. From that day the deities remain in symbolic and ritual convalescence for about fortnight .

They’re barred from the view of the standard devotees. Only three special patta chitras, traditional Oriya paintings of natural colors on cloth stiffened with starch, referred to as Anasara Pattis, are strung on a bamboo screen hiding the deities from public view, are often seen by the general public . During this era , the deities are given only roots, leaves, berries and fruits to cure them of their indisposition. This ritual may be a reminder of the strong tribal elements within the genesis and evolution of the Jagannatha cult. The progeny of Lalita, daughter of the first tribal worshipper Biswabasu, chieftain of hunters, and therefore the Brahmin priest Vidyapati, are referred to as daitapatis or daitas. they need the just about exclusive privilege of serving the Lord during the convalescence and thru the whole period of Ratha Jatra or the Festival of Chariots.

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