Sri Jagannath Ratha Yatra

Tripoto
Photo of Sri Jagannath Ratha Yatra by bharat
Day 1

Year After Year, I have been coming to Sri Jagannath Puri for the Annual Chariot Festival, Ratha Yatra.

Ratha Yatra In Puri is celebrated every year on Ashadha Shukla Paksha Dwitiya (second day in bright fortnight of Ashadha month).

The festival commemorates Jagannath's annual visit to Gundicha Temple via Mausi Maa Temple (aunt's home) near Balagandi Chaka, Puri.

As part of Ratha Yatra, the deities of Jagannath, his elder brother Balabhadra and younger sister Subhadra are taken out in a procession to Gundicha Temple and remain there for nine days.They are also accompanied by Sudarshana chakra. Then the deities or Ratha Yatra return to the Main temple. The return journey of Puri Jagannath Ratha Jatra is known as Bahuda Jatra.

So the scene is set, The Rath’s are all ready standing tall outside the temple. It’s been raining all day since we arrived here.

Bhubaneswar Airport

Photo of Sri Jagannath Ratha Yatra by bharat

Bhubaneswar Airport

Photo of Sri Jagannath Ratha Yatra by bharat

The Rath of Jagannath, Baldev & Subhadra ji

Photo of Sri Jagannath Ratha Yatra by bharat

Random Click

Photo of Sri Jagannath Ratha Yatra by bharat

During the day, Chariots all set

Photo of Sri Jagannath Ratha Yatra by bharat
Day 2

The day started very early. We were all set for the long day.

The 1st festival of the day is Pahandi. We had tickets for this festival which is a task to get. We had a local contact who had arranged these tickets for us. It allows you to sit on the terrace of the temple and witness this festival.

The journey of the deities to the world outside, starts with a spectacular royal procession called Pahandi Bije. This Pahandi procession of the deities is in a row and is known as ‘Dhadi Pahandi’ or a group movement. In Dhadi Pahandi procession the deities take rest whenever required during the journey to their respective chariots. All the deities move simultaneously one after the other in close succession. First Lord Sudarshana, then Balabhadra, then Subhadra and lastly Lord Jagannath are taken out from the inner Sanctum. At the seven-stairs northern exit from the dancing hall, the three deities assemble and receive giant floral crowns, called Tahias. Then the deities are literally pulled, pushed and dragged in rhythmic movement with the accompaniment of the beat of cymbals, drums and chanting of their names in chorus by devotees. Lord Sudarshana & Subhadra are carried on the shoulders but Balabhadra & Jagannath are carried all the way with little pauses in forward and backward motions. The deities are ushered through the Pata Agana, Ananda bazar, inner lion’s gate, Baishi Pahacha, lion’s gate, Gumuti, Arunastambha and finally to their respective chariots.

Balaram ji Malik his way to the chariot

Photo of Sri Jagannath Ratha Yatra by bharat

Balaram ji - pic2

Photo of Sri Jagannath Ratha Yatra by bharat

Shubadra ji making her way on the chariot

Photo of Sri Jagannath Ratha Yatra by bharat

Shubadra ji- Pic2

Photo of Sri Jagannath Ratha Yatra by bharat

Jagannath ji making. his way to the chariot

Photo of Sri Jagannath Ratha Yatra by bharat

Rituals before the Ratha Yatra Begins

When the deities are installed in their respective Rathas,the following rituals are observed on the eve of commencement of the journey.

(i) Chaka Apasaras - Circular cushions are provided to the deities

(ii) Proxy divinities - Madanamohana and Ramakrishna are brought from the temple and placed in Nandighosha and Taladhwaja respectively

(iii) Two big chests containing provisions, raiment and other necessary articles for use of the deities during the journey and sojourn, are kept in the chariots

(iv) Chita Lagi - Special head ornaments made of thermo cool and studded with artificial gems, flower decorations and pata vastra are provided to the deities. A cocoanut sent by the villagers of Baligaon Dasia Bauri is also presented to Lord Jagannath

(v) Chhera Pahanra - Moping of the chariot platform by the King of Puri. The King comes from the palace in a richly decorated palanquin, offers garlands, performs arati, pays reverential salute, fans the deity by golden flywhisk, and sweeps the chariot platform round the deity. He holds a golden broom in his hand and other Sevayatas meant for this purpose remain present there to throw flowers on the space of the chariot for sweeping purpose by the king. Thereafter fragrant sandal water is sprinkled on the surface of the chariots to sanctify them. It is an exciting scene for which devotees wait eagerly despite the scorching heat or rain as the case may be that happen on that day. It is because King of Puri is regarded as Vishnu and to witness the king along with Lord Jagannath on chariots is believed that all sins of a devotee are washed away. The Chhera Pahanra act signifies that there is no distinction between the king and a sweeper. The King, as the foremost servitor performs the ignoble job of a sweeper as a mark of utmost humility in the presence of the Lord of the Universe

vi) Sarathi Lagi - Three wooden charioteers one for each chariot are then fastened on to the chariots

(vii) Charamala Phita - Impromptu wooden flights of stairs to the chariots are taken out

(Viii) Ghoda Lagi – Four wooden horses to each chariot are yoked

(ix) Pulling of the chariots & start of the journey

The Journey:

First moves the Taladhwaja, the chariot of Balabhadra. Then Darpadalana, the chariot of Subhadra and lastly Nandighosa, the chariot of Jagannath. Lakhs of devotees, men, women, young and old irrespective of caste, creed and nationality scramble eagerly for a touch of the 250 feet holy coir cables to pull the chariots along the 3km. long Grand road to the terminal point at the Gundicha temple. The devotees are also assisted by the professional chariot pullers. During the journey, the deities are presented with holy offerings on behalf of various mathas and institutions.

Upon Arrival:

After the chariots reached and parked in front of the Gundicha temple

(i) The deities undergo a ceremonial bath

(ii) They are dressed in Boirani cloth

(iii) Various offerings are made i.e. bhoga, arati, badasimhara dhupa and khandua lagi, etc

The deities stay in the chariots from the following night to the next day evening.

Entry to Gundicha Temple:

Next day evening the Vijaya kahali, the trumpet announcing deities' august entry, leads the procession of ‘Goti Pahandi’. Once the deities leave their seat, they are taken directly to their prescribed seat in side the temple without taking any rest during the Pahandi procession. In Goti Pahandi Procession the next deity moves only after the preceding deity is already ensconced at the appropriate place. At Gundicha Temple the deities remain for 7 days. The Simhasana in Gundicha Mandir unlike the Ratnavedi is known as Mahavedi or the Janmavedi. It is said that the deities were born here and here King Indradyumna conducted the historic aswamedha yajna. The temple is also known as the Mahavedi, the Yajna Mandap, the Janakapuri and Narsimha Kshetra. During their sojourn in Gundicha temple the deities are dressed in Dasavatara Vesha.

Baldev’s rath all set

Photo of Sri Jagannath Ratha Yatra by bharat

Shubadra Ji’s Rath all set

Photo of Sri Jagannath Ratha Yatra by bharat

Jagannath’s Rath all set

Photo of Sri Jagannath Ratha Yatra by bharat

All set to be pulled

Photo of Sri Jagannath Ratha Yatra by bharat

Rains don’t affect the Festival

Photo of Sri Jagannath Ratha Yatra by bharat

Another Click

Photo of Sri Jagannath Ratha Yatra by bharat

Jagannths Rath being pulled

Photo of Sri Jagannath Ratha Yatra by bharat

The festival is very unique wherein the actual deities step out to give Darshan to their devotees .

Day 3

Just went out to click a few pics before leaving puri. These show the day to day life of people here. Thought I haven’t clicked many.

Pic 1

Photo of Sri Jagannath Ratha Yatra by bharat

A man selling the famous Khajas

Photo of Sri Jagannath Ratha Yatra by bharat

Pic 2

Photo of Sri Jagannath Ratha Yatra by bharat

Outside the temple

Photo of Sri Jagannath Ratha Yatra by bharat

Outside the temple

Photo of Sri Jagannath Ratha Yatra by bharat

Pic 3

Photo of Sri Jagannath Ratha Yatra by bharat

Pic 4

Photo of Sri Jagannath Ratha Yatra by bharat

Random pic

Photo of Sri Jagannath Ratha Yatra by bharat

Random pic

Photo of Sri Jagannath Ratha Yatra by bharat

Random pic

Photo of Sri Jagannath Ratha Yatra by bharat

Solution to rain

Photo of Sri Jagannath Ratha Yatra by bharat

one of the best pics !!

Photo of Sri Jagannath Ratha Yatra by bharat

Man selling plastic sheets

Photo of Sri Jagannath Ratha Yatra by bharat

Random pic

Photo of Sri Jagannath Ratha Yatra by bharat
Photo of Sri Jagannath Ratha Yatra by bharat

There is so much more to do in Sri Jagannath puri. But my this post is just focused on the Ratha Yatra. Hopefully I’ll post more soon !!

Till then keep travelling !!

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