The cart festival of Lord Jagannath, traditionally known as the Jagannath Rath Yatra, is more than 5,000 years old and marks the return of Lord Krishna to Vrindavan with his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra. The annual rath yatra has begun from the Enami Jaggannath temple of Odisha’s Balasore city on Sunday.
The festival is celebrated on the second day of Shukla Paksha of Ashadh, the third month, according to the traditional Oriya calendar. The journey started around 7.30 AM from the Emami Jagannath temple. As many as three new splendid chariots have been created for the yatra of the Gods - Lord Jagannath and his siblings -- from the 78-feet high magnificent shrine, constructed on sprawling three acres of land on the premises of Emami Paper Mills, a release said.
The caravan of Lord Jagannath will stop midway for a meal of sweet pancakes, believed to be Jagannath’s favorite dish. The Lord will also be accompanied by the celestial wheel called ‘Sudarshan Chakra’ during the journey. Apart from the three holy chariots, the procession will have 10-12 trucks accompanying them.
In his 'Mann Ki Baat' program, PM Modi too said that the Rath Yatra is being celebrated in various parts of the country with great fervour.
The colourful chariots of 45-feet high idols of Lord Jagannath, Balaram and Subhadra are pulled by thousands of devotees from India and abroad, moved through the major city roads amid the joyous chants of ‘Jai Jagannath’ and ‘Hare Krishna’. The carpenters, having rights for this job by heredity, follow century-old styles, written in the holy Hindu text, for building and decorating the chariots.
Lord Jagannath is God of poor; few know that in English, juggernaut means a magnificent chariot, that is unstoppable: PM Narendra Modi pic.twitter.com/Xx5RuvE8wO— ANI (@ANI_news) June 25, 2017
One of the significance of this Yatra is that people from all religions and faiths can see the deities and participate in the procession as they are not allowed to enter the temple on other days, the release said.
“The lord of mercy himself will come out on the streets of Balasore to shower his benevolence on all, blessing the participants and their families with happiness and peace forever,” said Sushil Goenka, trustee of the temple.
Jena, a senior IAS officer, in-charge of the temple administration, had yesterday said that the administration had made the provision of sign boards to be put at different places in order to create awareness among devotees visiting the holy town. The state government is expecting a congregation of about 10 lakh devotees during the yatra.
With PTI inputs