Lord Jagannath rath yatra commences in Gujarat
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History & Culture
13th Jul, 2021
The 144th annual rath yatra of Lord Jagannath began in Gujarat's Ahmedabad city.
About the Jagannath Rath Yatra
- Jagannath Rath Yatra is one of the biggest festivals in India.
- It is held at one of the Char Dhams – Jagannath Temple in Puri, Odisha.
- Deities:Lord Jagannath, Lord Balbhadra and Lordess Subhadra.
- Jagannath is a deity worshipped in regional Hindu traditions as part of a triad along with his brother Balabhadra and sister, devi Subhadra.
- Jagannath within Odia Hinduism is the supreme god, Purushottama.
- To most Vaishnava Hindus, particularly the Krishnaites, Jagannath is an abstract representation of Krishna.
- Sometimes as the avatar of Krishna or Vishnu, to some Shaiva and Shakta Hindus, he is a symmetry-filled tantric form of Bhairava, a fierce manifestation of Shiva associated with annihilation.
- Jagannath Rath Yatra is celebrated by worshipping Lord Jagannath (ruler of the world), his elder brother Balbhadra (Balaram) and sister Subhadra.
- Three giant wooden chariots are made of a kind of Neem tree for the deities for the yatra.
- The journey of the chariots of Lord Jagannath, his brother Balbhadra and sister Subhadra began from the 400-year-old Jagannath temple in Jamalpur area.
- It started with 'Pahind Vidhi'- a symbolic ritual of cleaning the way for the 'raths' (chariots).
- It is the oldest Ratha Yatra taking place in India and the World, whose descriptions can be found in Brahma Purana, Padma Purana, and Skanda Purana and Kapila Samhita.
Jagannath Temple, Puri
- The Jagannath Temple at Puri is among the most revered Vaishnava sites in India.
- The current temple was built by Anantavarman of the Chodaganga dynasty in the 12th century.
- The deities in the sanctum are associated with King Indrayumna of the Iksvaku dynasty, who was the nephew of Lord Ram.
- The Jagannath Temple celebrates 148 festivals annually, which includes 12 yatras, 28 upayatras and 108 ritualistic festivals.
- Among these the Ratha Yatra festival of Jagannath deva celebrated in the month of Asadha (June-July) is the most well-known one.