The state of Orissa comes alive during the month of June/ July because this is the time when the world renowned Jagannath Rath Yatra takes place. Also referred as the festival of chariots, Rath Yatra is celebrated annually at Puri. People from all across the world gather at Puri to take part in this auspicious occasion. The festival now becomes the world's most unbelievable spectacle in terms of grandeur and devotion befitting the Lord. Every year during this festival Lord Jagannnath, with his elder brother Balbhadra and sister Subhadra goes on vacation. The festival commemorates Lord Jagannath's annual visit to Gundicha Mata Temple via aunt's home Mausi Maa Temple which is near to the Balagandi Chaka in Puri.
During the Rath Yatra three beautifully decorated chariots resembling to the temple structure are pulled through the streets of Puri by thousands of devotees. New chariots are built every year as per the unique schemes prescribed and followed for centuries. The chariot of Lord Jagannath is called Nandighosa which is 45 ft long with 16 wheels each of which has 7 ft diameter. It is decked with a cover made up of red and yellow cloth. The chariot of Lord Balarama is called the Taladhwaja. It has 14 wheels each of them is 7 ft in diameter and is covered with red and blue cloth. Its height is 44 ft. The chariot of Subhadra is known as Dwarpadalana which is 43 ft long with 12 wheels each of which has a diameter of 7ft. The chariot is decked with the cloth of red and black which is being traditionally associated with Shakti and the Mother Goddess. Around each of the chariots are nine Parsva Devatas, painted wooden images representing different deities. Each of the chariots is attached to four horses of different color. White is for Balarama, dark is for Jagannath and red one is for Subhadra. Each chariot has a charioteer called Sarathi. Three charioteers attached to the chariots of Jagannatha, Balarama and Subhadra respectively known as Matali, Daruka and Arjuna.
It is only on this day the people of other religions and those who are not allowed to enter in the temple get the glimpse of the deities. During this festival thousand of devotees from all over the world pull the chariots of Lord with ropes. They consider this a pious deed and even risk their lives in the huge crowd. People accompanying the chariots play devotional songs, play drums, tambourines, trumpets etc. The whole procession is telecasted live by the various TV channels and cover by International channels as well. The festival is one of the most amazing and exhilarating events of India and is major tourist attraction. Plan a trip to Orissa during this time and feel blessed. For more information or cheap and best tour bookings to the most incredible sites of India fill the form or call us.