Lesser Known Facts of Puri Jagannath Ratha Yatra

 In Hinduism

Lesser Known Facts of Puri Jagannath Ratha Yatra

The Ratha Yatra of Jagannath along with Balabhadra and Subhadra here are some unknown facts  –

  • Ratha Yatra is one of the oldest festivals of India and is also celebrated internationally
  • According to an old Indian mythology, it first held in order to celebrate the return of Lord Krishna from the great Mahabharata War. The entire tradition of Rath Yatra owes its origin to this ancient weekly sojourn of the three sibling deities Lord Jagannath, Balarama and Subhadra.
  • ‘Ratha’ means chariot and ‘yatra’ means journey. The festival is celebrated to commemorate Jagannath’s visit to Gundicha Temple through Mausi Maa Temple in Puri
  • Three new wooden chariots are made every year in Orissa for the journey of the three deities from the local Jagannath temple. A team of approximately 14 to 15 tailors are engaged in stitching up the covers for the chariots that require nearly 1200 meters of cloth.
  • The chariot for Jagannath is approximately 45 feet high and 35 feet square and takes about 2 months to construct.

  • The deity forms of God Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra are decorated on chariots and are rolled to Puri every year, celebrating the Ratha Yatra
  • The chariots of the deities are newly built every year. Jagannath’s chariot is called Nandighosa, the chariot of Balabhadra is called Taladhwaja and the chariot of Subhadra is called Dwarpadalana
  • The total number of wheels on Lord Jagannath’s chariot are 16, Lord Balabhadra’s chariot are 14 and Subhadra’s chariot are 12
  • On the way back, the three chariots halt at the Mausi Maa Temple and the deities are offered Poda Pitha, a kind of baked cake which are generally consumed by the poor sections only. The same is offered as the Prasad to the devotees eradicating the barriers of caste, religion and creed. Poda Pitha is one of the major offerings which is made in the festival
  • During the festival, the deities are decorated with over 208 kg gold
  • During the colonial rule, the British rulers named the festival as ‘Juggernaut’ due to the large and heavy chariots
    Mainly a Hindu festival, Ratha Yatra transcends all religious boundaries and is not only celebrated by devout Hindus but also draws Muslims, Buddhists and members from many other communities.
  • Ratha Yatra has become one the international festivals as well. Cities like Dublin, New York, Toronto and Laos etc. also celebrate this festival.


Must read All You Need to Know About Puri Jagannath ‘Rath Yatra’

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