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Puri Rath Yatra 2022: Date, Time, Legends, Celebration, History And Significance

Ratha yatra, also called Ghosha Yatra, is a chariot festival that has a history of thousands of years, marking its legendary presence in the ancient scriptures and Puranas. Puri, a coastal city in Odisha is all decked up and iridescent, with people screaming the name of Jagannatha, in unison, gathering in large flocks, along the pathway of the Rathayatra, during the Ghosha yatra. Puri is at its colour splashing best at this time.

The utterance of the word Char Dham (four abodes/pilgrimage sites) instantly conjures up the image and the holy view of Lord Jagannatha, whose splendour and grace lovingly intertwine with the everyday lives of the people of Puri. There is a belief that visiting these sites will help one to achieve salvation, or what we know as 'Moksha'. The four pilgrimage sites are as follows:

(1) Dham of Satyayug- Badrinath, Uttarakhand,
(2) Dham of Tretayug -Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu,
(3) Dham of Dwaparyug - Dwarka, Gujarat,
(4) Dham of Kaliyug - Sri Mandir of Jaganath Puri, Odisha.

Lord Jagannatha's idol will be on display once a year, during the Rath yatra, when he is on a sojourn from his abode to the Gundhicha temple. Snatch some time off to go through this interesting information on Puri rath yatra.

Rath Yatra 2022: Date And Time

This year, Puri Rath Yatra starts on Friday, 01 July 2022 and concludes with the Bahuda yatra on Saturday, 9 July 2022. It comes to a close on Ashadha Shukla Dashami and begins on Ashadha Shukla Dwitiya. The Dwitiya Tithi begins at 10:49 am on 30 Jun 2022 and Dwitiya Tithi ends at 01:09 pm on 01 July 2022.

Rath Yatra 2022: Legend Associated With The Festival

There is a legend associated with the festival of Rath Yatra. Once, there was a Malava King Indradyumna, who was the son of King Tejodeva and Queen Sunandini,, was an ardent Vishnu devotee. One night, Lord Vishnu appeared in his dream and asked him to create wooden idols from a fragrant tree. The king acted instantly and got the idols of Jagannatha, Balabhadra, and Subhadra made with the help of Vishwakarma, the celestial architect. Due to some fault on the king's part, the Vishwakarma left to the heavens in the middle of the procedure and the final touches had not been given to the idols during the making.

They are malformed with large heads with no arms. Wood resin and cloth were used to create the idols and they must be remade every once in 12 years, as they are prone to disintegrate easily. It is believed that mere pulling of the Ratha ropes can free one of his accumulated sins and confer Mukti or liberation from the cycle of birth and death.

Rath Yatra 2022: History And Significance

Lord Jagannath is thought of as a living god, that oversees the well-being of the people of Puri. The tradition and rituals of the puja associated with the Rath Yatra testify to this belief. He is given a bath, dressed up, fed with prasad, and let sleep on the bed that is prepared for the night. Due to the scorching unpleasant summer at this time, he along with his brothers is given a soothing bath with 108 buckets of holy water on the day of snana Poornima after which they remain isolated, to avoid catching a cold. The isolation period or the "Anshan period", continues sometimes, after which Lord Jagannatha decides to take a trip to his aunt Gundicha's house.

The string of rituals that are carried out during this festival are Snana Poornima, Ansari, Chera Pahara Bahuda Yatra (The return journey of the three deities back from Gundhicha Temple to the sanctum sanctorum of Puri temple is termed 'Bahuda Yatra')., Suna Vesa( On the next day, the idols are adorned with new clothes and this ritual is called Suna Vesa) and Hera Panchami(is a ritual of Goddess Lakshmi, consort of Lord Jagannath).

Rath Yatra 2022: Celebrations

The Rath Yatra celebrations begin with the assembly of the Ratha or the chariot and goes on full swing with the actual yatra that ushers along the main street of Puri, (known as Danda Banda), to reach the Gundicha temple where the deities are stalled for nine days. They are offered the prasad of sweet pancakes there. The vibrant designs and hues painted on the Ratha, are a sheer joy to behold and evoke an upsurge of emotions towards the Lord. The chariot of Jagannath, (called the Nandighosha), the chariot of Balabhadra (Taladhvaja) and the chariot of Subhadra (known as Devadalana) are drawn by the sheer strength of love and devotion of the devotees, using strings.

During the Chhera pahara ritual, the Gajapati king (The Gajapati kings patronized Vaishnavism and were ardent devotees of Lord Vishnu) not only sweeps the entire area around the deities and chariots, but he also cleans the road with a gold-handled broom by sprinkling sandal powder and water. This is ample evidence for the fact that everyone is equal in the eyes of God. This cleansing ritual goes on for two days, the first day being the Ratha yatra day and the last day, when the deities are brought back from the Gundhicha into the temple. On the last day of the rath yatra, which is referred to as Bahuda Yatra, the deities are offered Poda Pitha sweet at the Mausi Maa temple, in Kalapathar, Odisha.

Disclaimer: The information is based on assumptions and information available on the internet and the accuracy or reliability is not guaranteed. Boldsky does not confirm any inputs or information related to the article and our only purpose is to deliver information. Kindly consult the concerned expert before practising or implementing any information and assumption

Image sources: Wikimedia Commons

Story first published: Sunday, May 29, 2022, 10:00 [IST]
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