Odisha, also known as the Golden Triangle destination, offers a plethora of rich historical heritage, sacred pilgrimage, vibrant living temples, golden sand beaches, international sand art festival by the tourism which showcases the cultural depth of the state and the amazing nature which highlights this place in a manner like no other.
The most famous Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra, (a chariot festival) of the innumerable festivals celebrated round the year in India, is celebrated in the holy city of Puri. Every year as the monsoon season arrives large gathering of devotees start their religious journey from all over the world from small villages to the urban centres – and mark their religious presence in the holy land of Puri. Rath Yatra, is a spiritual journey to commemorate the glory of Lord Jagannath. He is one of the tenth incarnations of Lord Vishnu. This devotional journey is dedicated to the Trinity- Lord Jagannath, his elder brother Lord Balabhadra and their sister Subhadra are worshipped within the temple and later taken and placed in the huge chariot to travel to another temple, and this is the only day when the devotees or pilgrims who are not so fortunate to enter into the temple can get a chance to catch a glimpse of the deities as they come out of their yearly ride. This festival is a symbol of equality and integration. The Yatra festival period is the most sacred time of the festival which commences with the worship of the god in Hari Sankirtan (in devotion).
The ceremonial Yatra festival lasts for seven-nine days with the day when the Lord leaves their main temple(Garbhagriha) and is taken to(Gundicha temple) for some time and then return to their main temple. The celebration starts with full zest and fervour when the three deities are moved in the chariots through the colourful procession. Devotees gather on either side of the roads and struggle hard to get an opportunity for the darshan (glimpse) of the Lord.
Jagannath literally means the “Lord of the Universe” and the deity is worshipped in the regional traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism as well. This journey of salvation is expressed in a very spiritual way, the concept of the Chariot is explained as – considering the “body to be the chariot” and “ letting the soul of the deity get infused or ingrained in it”, letting the wisdom to control the mind and its thoughts. This fascinating sight where millions of devotees gather makes this annual Rath Yatra among the grandest celebrations in India. This year it is celebrated on July 14.
Ras Al Khaimah