Jagannath Rath Yatra 2024 in Puri : Date, Time, and Significance

Date:

The Jagannath Rath Yatra in 2024: This annual festival, also known as the Chariot Festival, is a major event celebrated in Puri, Odisha, where Lord Jagannath, along with his siblings Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra, are taken out in a grand procession on elaborately decorated chariots​.

When does the Jagannath Rath Yatra 2024 start?

According to the Vedic calendar, the Jagannath Rath Yatra in 2024 will start at 08:05 AM on July 7th.

Significance and Historical Essence of the Jagannath Rath Yatra 2024

Lord Jagannath’s Yatra, celebrated since ancient times, draws inspiration from the mythological tale of Lord Krishna embarking on the Rath Yatra with his siblings Balram and Subhadra. Believed to have originated in the 12th century, this tradition marks its genesis with this event.

Attaining spiritual salvation through devotion During the Yatra, devotees fervently chant mantras and play drums alongside the chariots. Participating passionately in this Yatra is believed to grant salvation after death, purifying devotees of all sins, intentional or unintentional, and allowing them to begin anew.

The Rath Yatra of 2024 commences on June 29 and concludes on July 7 with the Bahuda Yatra, drawing millions who travel great distances to witness the grand procession and partake in the festivities.

Preparations and Rituals Leading Up to the Yatra Snana Purnima

Preparations for the Rath Yatra commence well in advance, starting with Snana Purnima, a significant ritual. On this day, the deities undergo a ceremonial bathing with 108 pots of pure water. Following this ritual ablution, the idols are secluded for fifteen days in a phase known as Anasara, during which they are considered to be recuperating. Devotees eagerly anticipate this period as public worship of the deities is suspended until the Rath Yatra day.

Netrotsava

The day before the Rath Yatra, the Netrotsava ceremony, also known as the “Festival of the Eyes,” takes place. This ritual involves painting the eyes of the deities, symbolizing their readiness for the journey ahead. It is believed that this ritual revitalizes both the gods and their devotees.

Chhera Pahara Ritual

A highlight of the Rath Yatra is the Chhera Pahara ritual, performed by the King of Puri, who is regarded as the primary servant of Lord Jagannath. Symbolizing equality and reverence before God, the king cleanses the chariots with sandalwood water and a golden-handled broom. Through this act, Lord Jagannath exemplifies that all are equal in his eyes, regardless of social status.

The Majestic Chariots The grand wooden chariots used in the Rath Yatra are each uniquely adorned:

  • Lord Jagannath’s Chariot (Nandighosa): The largest, standing at 44 feet tall with 16 massive wheels and adorned with crimson and yellow canopies.
  • Lord Balabhadra’s Chariot (Taladhwaja): Slightly smaller at 43 feet tall, with 14 wheels and covered in crimson and blue canopies.
  • Goddess Subhadra’s Chariot (Darpadalana): The smallest at 42 feet tall, with 12 wheels and adorned with crimson and black canopies.

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