The Glorious Ratha Yatra

The Glorious Rath Yatra

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 Yatra 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.

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.

Last year during the festival Ten Lakh people had descended to Puri to witness the spectacle. Apart from numerous Indian cities, the festival is observed with great fanfare right from New Zealand to South Africa and 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 their maternal aunt 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. 

See To Believe

Scroll to view the various glorious events that culminate into this grand festival. Experience the divinity with the curated footage below

Top Attractions In & Around Puri

A low down on all the wondrous monuments, beaches, craft villages, nature camps etc. to explore while you are at Puri for the Rath Yatra

Top Experiences during the Rath Yatra


celebrated 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

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.

DebaSnana 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. This year it will be celebrated on 17th June 2019.

Getting There

Essentials Cheat Sheet


There's a variety of options for you to stay at. From Star Rated Hotels, Eco Tour Nature Camps equipped with state of the art swiss tents and facilities to OTDC Government Hotels, Bed Breakfasts and Homestays to choose from. Browse the list below to choose your preferred accomodation.

Trails & Tours to Explore

Like what you see? Looking to have a well rounded experience in Odisha? Scroll to see a list of the choicest of curated pre-packaged tours covering the most coveted destinations in Odisha.Browse the list and see details of the trail/package which interests you most. Contact the Dept. Of Tourism recogonized Travel Agent who has published the tour and finalize your trip to Odisha today!

Find a Travel Agent

Below is a list of Travel Agents/Tour Operators who are recognized by the Dept. Of Tourism and are trusted Local Specialists. Contact them today to plan a well rounded trip to Odisha and getting the best deals! Their packages cover everything from the most visited to the off-beat, from the most ancient to the most urbane, from mountains to beaches, from the wild city life to the spending nights under a cieling of stars in the actual wilderness! Click on the contact button and get a call back now!

Helpline Services Numbers

Tourist Office


Temple Administration Puri


Bus Stand Enquiry


Sri Jagannath Temple Office


Foreigner Registration Office


Fire Station

101/ 06752-222101

GRP Police Station


Head Post Office


Collector's Control Room

06752-222033 (O)/ 222034 (R)

Police Control Room




Dist. Head Quarters Hospital


Railway Inquiry

139/ 06752-226717

Panthanivas Puri


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