Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath at Puri Held

IAS Prelims 2023

The world famous ‘Rath Yatra’ of Lord Jagannat was held in the temple town of Puri in Odisha with religious fervour and enthusiasm.

Devotees reached Puri to witness the nine-day journey of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra to the Gundicha Temple and back to their abode.

‘Naba Jaubana Darshan’ of the deities was performed as they remained confined to “Anasara Pindi” (recovery chamber) after the grand bath on ‘Snana Purnima’.

In a rhythmic style, the deities moved forward step by step to the accompaniment of beating of ‘ghantas’ and ‘kahalis’ and blowing of conch shells. The trinity proceeded majestically in rhythmic movement in their journey to the world outside during ‘Pahandi’.

At first, Sudarshana, the celestial wheel of Vishnu, was taken out and placed in the chariot of Devi Subhadra followed by Lord Balabhadra and finally Lord Jagannath.

The 45-feet high ‘Nandighosh’, the chariot of Lord Jagannath stood with 16 huge wooden wheels, while the 44-feet high ‘Taladhawaja’ with 14 wheels was for Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra’s ‘Darpadalan’ was 43-feet high with 12 wheels.

The Shankaracharya of Puri Govardhana peeth Swami Nischalananda Saraswati had a darshan of the deities on the chariots along with his disciples.

Thereafter, the Gajapati King of Puri Divyasingh Dev proceeded to the chariots to perform the ‘Chhera Panhara’ ritual by sweeping the platform with golden broom.

The rath-yatra was also celebrated at Ahmedabad in Gujarat amid tight security as lakhs of devotees flocked the 15-km journey route to catch a glimpse of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and their sister Devi Subhadra.

Rains failed to dampen the spirit of the devotees pulling the rope of decked-up chariots of Lord Jagannath in the annual ‘Rath Yatra’ hosted by the ISKCON in Kolkata.