Essential Guide: Jagannath Rath Yatra

Join us as we delve into the enchanting tapestry of the Jagannath Rath Yatra, exploring its rituals, symbolism, and enduring significance in the hearts of millions

By Mausam Pandya
New Update

"Steeped in mystique and steeped in tradition, the Jagannath Rath Yatra stands as a timeless spectacle of faith and fervor. Amidst the vibrant streets of Puri, Odisha, this ancient festival unfolds with grandeur, drawing millions in homage to Lord Jagannath and his divine siblings. Beyond its ornate chariots and lively processions lies a profound journey of spirituality and community, where ancient rituals meet modern devotion in a celebration that transcends time. Join us as we delve into the enchanting tapestry of the Jagannath Rath Yatra, exploring its rituals, symbolism, and enduring significance in the hearts of millions."


Origins and Significance

The Rath Yatra has ancient roots dating back over a thousand years. It commemorates a historic event mentioned in Hindu scriptures and legends, where Lord Jagannath, along with Balabhadra and Subhadra, would be taken on a grand procession from the Jagannath Temple to the Gundicha Temple (about 3 km away). The journey symbolizes the deities visiting their aunt’s house.



Preparation and Rituals

The preparation for Rath Yatra begins months in advance. The most iconic aspect is the construction of gigantic wooden chariots (Raths) for each deity. These chariots are built anew every year from specially chosen wood by skilled artisans. The main chariot of Lord Jagannath, known as Nandighosa, is the tallest with 18 wheels, followed by Taladhwaja for Balabhadra (with 16 wheels) and Devadalana for Subhadra (with 14 wheels).



Before the Yatra begins, the deities undergo a ritualistic bath (Snana Purnima) with 108 pitchers of water drawn from a sacred well. Afterward, they stay away from public view for about two weeks (Anasara) during which they are considered to be under the influence of a fever and are given medicinal care.

The Rath Yatra Procession

On the day of the Yatra, millions of devotees gather in Puri to witness the grand event. The deities are ceremoniously brought out of the temple and placed on their respective chariots. Priests perform rituals and invoke blessings amidst chanting of hymns and blowing of conch shells.


Then, with great fanfare and devotion, devotees pull the chariots through the streets of Puri. The pulling of the chariots is considered highly auspicious, and devotees believe that even touching the ropes or the chariots brings blessings and purifies one's soul.

Symbolism and Beliefs

The Rath Yatra holds deep spiritual symbolism. The journey symbolizes the journey of life, with the chariot representing the body and the deities symbolizing the soul. Pulling the chariots signifies unity and devotion, transcending social, economic, and cultural barriers. It is believed that participating in the Yatra and having darshan (sight) of the deities during this procession brings immense spiritual merit and blessings.




The Jagannath Rath Yatra showcases the rich traditions and fervent devotion of the devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Jagannath who is Lord Kṛṣṇa himself!! It attracts devotees and tourists from all over the world, drawn by the spectacle, spirituality, and profound meaning behind this ancient festival. It serves as a reminder of the enduring power of faith and the unity it fosters among communities, making it a truly beautiful and inspiring celebration of devotion and tradition.



Unlocking Miraculous Benefits of Greek Yogurt

Latest Stories