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Ratha Jatra 2021

As the chariots starts rolling, the hymns and chants reach a crescendo; a million hands go up seeking blessings from the divine. Such is the aura of the world famous Ratha Jatra or Chariot Festival as it’s known that the temple town of Puri turns into a sea of humanity, where people of all caste, creed and religion congregate to catch a glimpse of the Lord Jagannath and his siblings.

Live Streaming of Niladri Bije

The History & Magnificence

Believed to be as old as the Jagannath Temple, Puri – the Ratha Jatra or the Chariot Festival as its popularly called outside India is a unique festival in more ways than one. This is the only festival in India, where the deities are taken out of the temple premises. People of all religion, caste and creed join in and revel in the sea of humanity that Puri transforms into.

Apart from being observed in numerous Indian cities, the festival is observed with great fanfare right from New Zealand to South Africa, New York to London.

Devdutt Patnaik who writes on relevance of mythology in modern times aptly sums up the reason behind the popularity of Lord Jagannath Cult and the Chariot Festival -"Locally Jagannath is called Kaliya, for its black colour, with great affection, although modern colour prejudice makes many insist that Krishna is actually blue. He is God, of course, spelt with a capital G, but more than that he is your friend, as the dominant mood in the temple is of sakha-bhaav, devotion through the emotion of friendship."

Though many think it’s a nine day festival – the onward journey of the Holy Trinity to Goddess Gundicha Devi’s Temple and culminates with the Return Journey after eight days. In reality the festival stretches from the day of AkhayaTrutiya (in April) and culminates with the Return Journey of the Holy Trinity to the Shree Mandir premises.

Top Experiences during the Ratha Jatra

Akhaya Trutiya

Akhaya Trutiya

Clebrated in the Hindu calendar as the birth of Sage Parashurama – it is considered that any venture started on this auspicious day would be successful. On this day the chariot construction for the three chariots of Lord Jagannath and his siblings start. The chariot construction work is carried out by seven groups of carpenters and artisans as per tradition and lineage.
Chandan Jatra

Chandan Jatra

Where the representative of Lord Jagannath – Lord Madana Mohan along with representatives of Goddess Bhudevi (Saraswati), Goddess Shreedevi (Lakshmi), Lord Krishna, Lord Balaram and the Pancha Pandavas – Lord Lokanatha, Lord Markandeswara, Lord Kapalamochana, Lord Nilakantheswara and Jameswara undertake leisurely boat ride at the Narendra Water Tank to beat the summer heat.
 Deva Snana Purnima

Deva Snana Purnima

Where the holy trinity are taken out in a procession from the temple premises and placed in an elevated platform and each idol is bathed in 108 pitchers of ritually purified water drawn from a specific well inside the temple premises accompanied by chants and hymns. The festival is observed on the full moon day on the Hindu month of Jayestha.