Goncha festival/Rath yatra in Bastar Chhattisgarh
The Goncha festival is Rath yatra (chariot) festival of lord jagannath similar to puri rath Yatra.
The word Goncha is derived from word Gundicha yatra in puri. The festival is celebrated in Ashadh Shukla Dwitiya (second day on the bright full moon fortnight of ashadh month).
Three different chariots are made for lord jagannath, ord BalaBhdra and their sister Goddess Subhadra. Some Say, in the past, these chariots were the second largest chariots of lord jagannath, in the world after puri. The chariots are made by different tribal communities.
It also showcases the inimitable tribal culture and the enjoyment by different tribes. The spirits of the tribal people, who participate from different parts of incredible. This Goncha festival is celebrated during the month of july on the occasion of Rath Yatra at Jagdalpur.
In this festival, tribes from various parts of Bastar participate. These tribes use tukki (small psstol) and Goncha. Tukki/Tupki is made of Bamboo and Goncha (fruit of penguin) is a kind of special fruit.
A bamboo stick is cut in the shape of a pistol. They use Tukki as pistol and Gocha as a bullet to hit each other. It is just a part of muck encounter.
Since Goncha festival occurs at the same time as Rath Yatra is celebrated, it is also referred as chariot festival.
As part of Rath yatra, the deities of lord Jagannath, Balbhadra and Goddess Subhadra are taken out in a procession to Gundicha Temple(Sirhasaar) and remain there for nine days.
The deities return to jagannath Temple and return Journy is known as Bahuda Goncha.
The onlookers take the pleasure of the sight of celebration of the festival and the celebration is admirable.