Full of excitement and performance, Puri Rath Yatra is one of the famed spiritual celebrations in India. It is celebrated with great devotion and zeal on Akshya Shukla Dwitiya which falls in the month of June or July. The mixture of pilgrims from every nook and corner of the world, the music of the gongs and elegantly decorated chariots certainly render a superb experience to cherish forever. This festival is also known as car festival reflecting a picture of devotion, faith and integrity. The festivity begins with the embellishment of the chariot by many volunteers. There are three chariots which are the main attractions of the entire yatra. The first one is of Lord Jagannaththat is known as Nandighosa, has 18 wheels and 45.6 height. The others two being Subhadra also dubbed as Devadalana and Balabhadrarath. All these raths are adornedwith many designs by the known artists of Puri.
Date: June 23, 2020
The famed festival starts in the month of June or July when the raths of Lord Jagannath go along with Devi Subhadra and Brother Balabhadra. They are taken on the main street called Bada Danda. Then the raths are carried to Gundicha shrine, aunt's home where the gods relish a stay for nine days. There the deities are offered sweet pancakes also. The Gajapati king cleans the road with a broom and sprays some sandalwood water. It shows that no devotee is big or small in the Lord Jagannath's eyes.
The custom is held for nine days, in the beginning on the rathyatra the deities are taken to the aunt's place at the Gundicha shrine and lastly all the three deities are transported back to the Puri shrine. The chariots stop at the Mausi Maa shrine on the way back journey where the gods are served Poda Pitha.
If someone has a glimpse of Jagannathji on the rath or touches the rope with which it is being pulled, then it is considered to bestow upon the results of many devout performances for years. When the festival ends the Raths are broken into pieces which are either used in the shrine kitchens or sold to pilgrims as remnants.
How to Reach Puri
The nearest airport to make it to Puri is BijuPatnaik airport, just 56 km away. It is connected to Mumbai and Delhi by regular flights.
Puri has its own railway station. Daily train services are available from here to the major cities of India like Chennai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Bhubaneswar and many more.
It is well connected to the main cities of India by good motorable roads. Regular bus services are also available from Konark, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Kolkata.