Rath Yatra: Divided by location and United by Festival

Huge temple of Lord Jagannath in Puri, a coastal city of Odisha state of India. The Jagannath temple and has considered one of the Char Dham in Hinduism. Every year a grand Jagannath Rath Yatra is taken out which is not only Indian but most importantly world famous. Jagannath dham is mainly known as Puri. This year Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra 2023 date will take place on 20 June. Rath Yatra Utsav is a 10- days festival during which lakhs of devotees reach Puri from all over the country. Lord Jagannath has considered an incarnation of Shri Krishna. Whose glory has been also mentioned in religious texts and Puranas. It has believed his brother Balarama and sister Subhadra. Those who join this rath yatra and pull the chariot get a virtuous benefit equal to a hundred yagnas. Lakhs of people join during the Rath Yatra and it takes a huge influx of devotees to pull the chariot. Jagannath Yatra has done on the 2nd date of Shukla Paksha of Ashadha month according to Hindu Panchag. Which will come out on 20 June this year. Devotees from all over the country are reaching here to join the yatra. This annual festival is set according to the Hindu lunar calendar, on Dwitiya Tithi during Shukla Paksha of the Ashada month. This usually falls in month of June or July in the Gregorian calendar Lord Jagannatha is the presiding deity of the Jagannatha Temple and is considered to be a manifestation of Lord Vishnu. He is revered by devotees of Vaishnavism and is known as Lord of the Universe. This temple is one of the four sacred Hindu pilgrimage sites called Char Dham and is an obligatory pilgrimage for Hindus. Lord Jagannatha is worshipped along with his brother Balabhadra and sister Devi Subhadra. The Rath Yatra festival dates back to over 500 years ago when King Purushottam Deva was ruling Odisha. One day, he had a dream about Lord Jagannath and his brother Balabhadra asked for a temple to be built for them at Puri, Odisha. The king then decided to build a temple which was known as Sri Mandir. Thousands of devotees gather in Puri every year, pulling the huge chariots of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Sister Subadra, believing that the divine vision of the gods will wash them all away from sin. Devotees from different regions gather in Odisha to take part in the Lord Jagannath Ratha Yatra, which is performed with all the rituals. The Chariot Festival is a spectacular tradition that is integral to mythology. It features elaborate processions of chariots and is a time to celebrate the age-old traditions of the people. There are three different rathas, each with its’ own unique features. The rathas are all different sizes and colors, and they each have several wheels. Jagannatha’s chariot has 16 wheels and is covered in red and yellow cloth. The ratha of Balabhadra is decorated with red and green cloth covers and is supported on 14 wheels. Subhadra’s Ratha is covered in red and black clothing and has 12 wheels. However, there is a mention in the scriptures about joining this journey once in life. Lord Balabhadra’s chariot is at the forefront of the Jagannath Rath Yatra, in the middle of it is the chariot of Lord Subhadra, and finally the chariot of Lord Jagannath. Anyone who has truly involved in this journey fulfills his desire and attains salvation. Apart from the initial celebration in the majestic city of Puri in Odisha, There are some other iconic cities outside of India where Ratha Yatra is celebrated heroically. Famous cities like Brisbane, Durban, San Francisco, London, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and even remote corners of Russia are celebrating Ratha Yatra’s glory.

1. San Francisco, USA- Almost 49 years ago in 1967, the first Ratha Yatra outside India was celebrated in San Francisco, and interestingly enough, to the present day, the people of this city rejoice in the celebration with the utmost magnificence!
2. Prague, Czech Republic- Every year, the streets of Prague, Czech Republic, Ratha Yatra, are dotted with devout devotees who can be seen pulling a 40-foot chariot carrying the idols of Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra. There was a group of singers behind the group. The musicians and dancers who had been intoxicated in the festival.
3. Durban, South Africa- Durban’s Ratha Yatra celebration began in 1988 and it continues to be a very popular event with locals and tourists alike. There are lots of cultural activities taking place

during the day, including a chariot parade.

4. Moscow, Russia-
Here is a beautiful view of the Ratha Yatra observance in Moscow, where nearly 200 devotees endured severe weather conditions of below zero degrees Fahrenheit and snowfall to pull the deities happily.
5. Auckland, New Zealand-
A truly magnificent sight! Auckland, New Zealand celebrates Ratha Yatra, which is also highly praised in the beautiful city. The devotees dance energetically in front of the chariots, displaying their devotion to the gods. We can see from some of the best Ratha Yatra celebrations that Lord Jagannath is undoubtedly the supreme “Lord of universe”.