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Rath Yatra is a significant festival in India, celebrated in Orissa at the Shri Kshetra Puri Dham. It is one of the country’s oldest and largest festivals, featuring a grand procession of chariots. The festival is associated with the God Jagannath, also known as “lord of the world,” and is celebrated at the Jagannath temple.
So when is Rath Yatra? How will it be celebrated? Keep reading to know more about Rath Yatra festival in 2023.
Rath Yatra 2023 date
This year, the festival will begin on Tuesday, 20 June 2023. The Jagannath Rath Yatra is a nine-day festival celebrated in Odisha, Jharkhand, and other parts of Eastern India. The main procession occurs in Puri, Odisha, where Lord Jagannath and two other deities travel to the Gundicha Temple and Mausi Maa Temple on grand chariots.
How is Rath Yatra celebrated?
The Rath Yatra is an extravagant celebration that’s deeply rooted in the rich cultural heritage of India. It’s a 9-day festival that begins with the construction of the chariots on the day of Akshaya Tritiya. The wood for these chariots is collected from the forest of Dashpalla, and only the carpenters of Shrimandir are allowed to build them.
During the festival, large chariots are pulled through the streets to represent the annual journey of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and their sister Subhadra to their aunt’s temple, the Gundicha Temple, in Puri, Odisha. It’s believed that Lord Jagannath rests for 7 days during the festival before beginning the return journey.
What makes the Rath Yatra special is that it’s not just any ordinary festival. Devotees from far and wide come to witness the event’s grandeur and celebrate their culture and heritage.
Similar to the Rath Yatra celebration in Odisha, Rath Yatra festivals are also held in other parts of India and Bangladesh. However, the festivities in Puri still remain the long-established and grandest.
Rath Yatra 2023 in Puri
The Jagannath Rath Yatra in Puri is celebrated on the second day of Shukla Paksha of Ashadh month. Lord Jagannath Srihari is considered one of Lord Vishnu’s main avatars, and the Rath Yatra in Puri is a symbol of harmony, unity and brotherhood.
Every year, thousands of devotees, pilgrims and tourists visit Puri in Odisha to participate in the Rath Yatra and increase their good luck by pulling the chariot. It is also believed that those participating in the Rath Yatra get all kinds of happiness and prosperity. The grand Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath will be carried out this year on 20 June 2023.