Rath yatra which is otherwise known as the “Chariot Festival” is originally celebrated at Puri, Odisha, which is one of the easternmost states of the peninsula. Good News !! is that Supreme Court of India accepts reveiw plea for conducting the famous RathaYatra 2020 within Covid-19 rules & laws. Previously Rath Yatra 2020 has been canceled as the recent order by the Supreme Court of India, In 1737 this is the first time that Rath Yatra has been canceled in 2020 due to the corona outbreak.
Rath Yatra in 1932 Watch Video –
Rath Yatra in 1937 –
Rath Yatra in 1961, Which is first time rerecorded in colour –
Rath Yatra is a Hindu festival related to Lord Jagannath and Puri is the oldest Rath Yatra Taking place in India and also in the world which gets its mention in different holly scriptures of Hinduism, for example, Bramha Puran, Padma Purana, Skanda Purana, and Kapila Purana. The major attraction of this festival is that the three main deities, namely Jagannath, Blabhadra and their dear sister Subhadra are taken out to their respective chariots and the devotees pull and take these chariots to another temple which is known as “Mausima Mandira” also known as “Gundicha Temple” which means the maternal aunt’s place. The three deities are taken there so that they can spend some time with their beloved aunt.
Let us look at some interesting facts about this Festival:
1. This is the only festival, where the deities are taken out of their temple to meet their devotees.
2. The deities go through all human experiences. They take birth (every twenty years when their outer shells are changed), they get love and affection which they reciprocate back at their loved devotees, they eat and take bath, they fall sick, they get dressed and all dolled up to meet their relatives (their aunt) and finally, they die (every twenty years when their outer shells are changed) which is also known as “Nabakalebara”.
3. These three deities are half made, which is believed to mark that human being, even though made in the light of the Creator, are flawed, but that’s okay.
4. This is the only festival, where a King is seen moping the chariots and the path for the chariots to be pulled.
5. Their chariots, which are mini architectural marvels, are constructed over 42 days from over 4,000 pieces of wood by the only family that has the hereditary rights to make them.
The story behind the Rath Yatra:
There are two legends-
1. It is believed that Gundicha was the Queen of king Indradyumna and she was a great devotee of Lord Krishna and especially in his Lord Jagannath attire. As it is seen in many cases that, Krishna or Jagannath, both surrender to whoever wishes to love him in whichever way possible, he surrenders to Gundicha because of her great devotion and hence promises her to visit her at least once every year and that is why the three deities are taken to the “Gundicha” temple to visit her.
2. The second legend is as follows, the “Gundicha” temple is believed to be the birthplace of the three siblings and the “Sudarshan Chakra” as it is a usual thing that babies take birth in their maternal place. Their aunt “Gundicha” lures the three siblings by inviting them over, and by making a special delicacy called “Podapittha”, which a type of cake that does not taste like your usual cake and is made out of black gram and rice flour.