New Delhi | Jagran Lifestyle Desk: One of the most famous festivals of India, the Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra will be celebrated across the country from July 12. Commonly known as 'Rath Yatra', this festival, which is held in nine days, celebrates the annual visit of Lord Jagannath to Gundicha Mata Temple. Queen Gundicha was the wife of King Indradyumna, who built Puri Jagannath Temple. This festival's description can be found in Kapila Samhita, Brahma Purana, Padma Purana and Skanda Purana.

The festival begins on Shukla Paksha Dwitiya of Ashadha and ends on Shukla Paksha Dashmi of Ashadha. So as people across the India celebrate this special festival, we at English Jagran have brought your some interesting and lesser-known facts about Puri Rath Yatra that you must know:

  • This festival is the celebration of the annual visit of Lord Jagannath to Gundicha Mata Temple. Queen Gundicha was the wife of king Indradyumna, who built Puri Jagannath Temple. To honor the devotion of Queen They visit Gundicha Temple.
  • In the world this is the only celebration, where the deities are taken out of the temple and carried in chariots. Puri Rath Yatra is the largest chariot procession in the world.
  • The deities of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra are made of wood, cloth and resins. They are structured with large head and no hands.
  • Every year new chariots are made but model, structure, design and dimensions remain invariable. Chariots are made of wood, collection of wood starts from the day of Basant Panchami.
  • The top of the chariots are designed to resemble the Hindu temple. The chariots are pulled by canopies which are made of 1200 meter of clothes.
  • All the three deities travel in different chariots. Lord Jagannath on Nandighosh with 18 wheels, Lord Balabhadra on
  • Taladhwaja with 16 wheels and Devi Subhadra on Padmadhwaja with 14 wheels.
  • Before Rath Yatra on the day of purnima the deities are given ceremonial bath with 108 pitchers of water. Due to this they catch high fever. The temple is closed for a week. To have a change they go to their aunt's home for a few days on chariots.
  • Only Hindus are allowed to enter the Jagannath puri temple but the doors are open to all during Rath Yatra festival.
  • King of Orissa cleans the chariots and the path with broom made of gold and sprinkle sandalwood.
  • It is believed that Rath does not move even after lots of efforts by the devotees. It's only after a few hours of cosmic efforts and Dahuka boli is sung, Rath moves.
  • Bahuda yatra is the return journey. During return journey they take a short stoppage at Mausi Maa Temple, dedicated to Goddess Ardhashini.
  • After the festival is over the chariots are dismantled and the wood is used as fuel in the temple kitchen where 56 dishes are made everyday.

Posted By: Sanyukta Baijal