Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra June 21 2012

Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra

Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra June 21 2012

This year the Puri Jagannath  Rath Yatra is on 21 June 2012.

This RATHA YATRA  is popularly known AS Gundicha Yatra OR  Ghosha Yatra.

This is held on is AshadhaSukla Dwitiya/Vidiya -i.e. the 2nd day of the bright fort-night of Ashadha (June- July) every year. The preparations start with the CHANDAN JATRA. This yatra starts from the SIMHADWARA  of the temple to the temple known as GUNDICHA GHAR , which is around 2miles from the temple. The chariot of Balabadhra is dragged first then that of Subadhra and at the last Lord Jagannatha. The chariots are dragged until they reach the Gundicha temple.


This is the beginning of preparations for the RATHA YATRA. This starts on the AKSHAYA TRITIYA (the third day of the Vaisakha month) with a homam (worshipping seating in front of fire)  in front of the palace of the king of Puri, and building of the Chariots. This lasts for 3 weeks. The process includes of bringing out the representative deities and taking them for a boat ride in the Narendra tank. Also accompany the deities are the deities from the 5 main shiva temples of puri, who are thought to be the as the PANCHA PANDAVAS. Then the deities have a bath in the small temple in the middle of the tank, along with sandalwood paste,flowers etc.


This festival ends in the SNANA JATARA, on the full moon day of Jyesta masa(month). On this day the deities are moved from the Ratnavedi(the throne) and are bathed with 108 pots of water from the SUNA KUA (golden well) at the north east corner of the temple. The water from the well is used only for this purpose. After the bath, the deities are decorated in the form a Ganesha with a Elephant head and are kept in isolation from public for two weeks. i.e they are not visible and the deities are hidden using a curtain with the paintings of the deities called ANASARA PATTIS. This is to say that the deities are sick and need rest. The deities are offered only roots,berries,leaves and fruits to cure them form their illness. Only Lalita, daughter of the original tribal worshipper Biswabasu, chief of hunter of the tribe, and the Brahmin priest Vidyapati, known as daitapatis or daitas, have the special privilege to worship the deities during the process of Ratha Yatra.


Then comes the phase of marking the end of sickness of the deities, the immediate day after the SNANA JATRA and is called as NAVA JAUBAN. This process includes giving the deities a fresh coat of paint as the per the instructions fro preparing the icons traditionally. The eyes are painted in another festival called NETROTSAVA. The deities have now fully recovered and are ready for the view of the public and this is called NAU JAUBAN DARSHAN. Hundreds of devotees throng the temple for this darshan and this starts in the afternoon and continues till late night.


The deities are ready for the RATHA YATRA, it is on the Ashadha Shukla Dwitiya/vidiya , the second day of the start of the Ashadha masam, are taken out of the temple in the order of Sudarshana, who is seated in the chariot of Subadhra, then come Balabadhra and finally Lord Jagannatha.

Here the deities are decorated with flowers and this is called asTAHAI.

As the deities Balabadhra and Jagannatha are heavy they are tied with thick silken ropes on their head and waists in a ritual called SENAPATA LAGI. The deities are moved to the chariot in a swinging manner called PAHANDI.


Lord Jagannatha’s Chariot is called NANDIGHOSA. It is 45 feet high and base of the chariot is about 45 feet square at the wheel level. It has 16 wheels, each of 7 feet diameters, and the chariot is covered with  a cover made of red and yellow cloth.

The Chariot of Lord Balabhadra, called the TALADHWAJA, the one with the Palm Tree on its flag, is 44 feet high and has 14 wheels, each of 7 feet diameters and is covered with red and blue cloth. Its height is forty-four feet.

The Chariot of Subhadra, known as DARPADALANA, is 43 feet high with 12 wheels, each of 7 feet diameters. This Chariot is covered with  red and black cloth.


Once the deites are seated in the chariot, the king of Puri is informed of the proceedings and the king then dressed in pure white comes to the temple in a sliver plated palanquin. He then climbs each chariot, offers prayers to the deities in the chariot and then cleans the platform with a golden broom and sprinkles flowers and scented water on the platform.

This is called CHERRA PAHANRA.

After this process the king leaves and the chariots are tied with ropes made out of coconut fibre. The ropes are around 250 feet long.

Then the chariots are pulled, with the chariot of Balabadhra dragged first, then of goddess Subadhra along with Sudarshana in her chariot, and finally of Lord Jagannatha.

Finally the chariots reach Gundicha temple.

Here in the Gundicha temple the deities stay in the ADAPA MANDAPA for seven days. On the ninth day they are returned back to the temple. This is called as BAHUDA. While returning the Lords take a small break, where they are offered poda pitha as if their aunt is offering them. On returning back to the temple the deities are adorned with golden hands, arms and crown.  In the temple the deities are offered ADHARA PANA.

At the arrival at the temple, the gates are shut to show the anger and frustration of Laxmi for leaving her and going, Lord Jagannath responds with entreaties and endearments and after this drama is enacted the lord enters the temple and has his seat on the RATNA Simhasana.

This marks the end of Rath Yatra.

No comments.

Leave a Reply