Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended his greetings on the auspicious occasion of Jagannath Yatra widely knowns as the ‘Festival of Chariots‘. PM Modi tweeted-
“Best wishes to everyone on the special occasion of the Rath Yatra. We pray to Lord Jagannath and seek his blessings for the good health, happiness and prosperity of everyone. Jai Jagannath.”
Best wishes to everyone on the special occasion of the Rath Yatra.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 4, 2019
We pray to Lord Jagannath and seek his blessings for the good health, happiness and prosperity of everyone.
Jai Jagannath. pic.twitter.com/l9v36YlUQ5
Wishing the countrymen prosperity happiness and peace, President Ram Nath Kovind tweeted-
रथ यात्रा के शुभ अवसर पर सभी देशवासियों को बधाई और शुभकामनाएँ। मैं कामना करता हूँ कि भगवान जगन्नाथ के आशीर्वाद से सभी के जीवन में सुख, शांति और समृद्धि आए – राष्ट्रपति कोविन्द— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) July 4, 2019
Earlier, in the day, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and his wife Sonal Shah offered prayers at the Jagannath Temple in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Shah said-
“Good wishes to all the citizens on the holy occasion of Shri Jagannath Rath Yatra. Mahaprabhu Jagannath brought happiness, prosperity and good fortune to everyone's life.”
श्री जगन्नाथ रथयात्रा के पवित्र अवसर पर समस्त देशवासियों को हार्दिक शुभकामनाएँ।— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) July 4, 2019
महाप्रभु जगन्नाथ सभी के जीवन में सुख, समृद्धि और सौभाग्य लाये।
ପବିତ୍ର ରଥଯାତ୍ରା ଅବସରରେ ସମସ୍ତଙ୍କୁ ହାର୍ଦ୍ଦିକ ଶୁଭକାମନା l ମହାପ୍ରଭୁ ଶ୍ରୀଜଗନ୍ନାଥଙ୍କର ଆଶୀର୍ବାଦ ଆମ୍ଭ ସମସ୍ତଙ୍କ ଉପରେ ସଦାସର୍ବଦା ରହିଥାଉ
ଜୟ ଜଗନ୍ନାଥ pic.twitter.com/2iXx4DIXoQ
Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik also took to Twitter and shared the pictures of Rath Yatra celebrations-
ଜଗତର ନାଥ ପ୍ରଭୁ ଶ୍ରୀ ଜଗନ୍ନାଥଙ୍କ ବିଶ୍ଵ ପ୍ରସିଦ୍ଧ ଘୋଷଯାତ୍ରା ଅବସରରେ ସାରା ବିଶ୍ଵର ସମସ୍ତ ଜଗନ୍ନାଥ ଭକ୍ତ ଓ ଶ୍ରଦ୍ଧାଳୁଙ୍କୁ ହାର୍ଦ୍ଦିକ ଅଭିନନ୍ଦନ। ଚତୁର୍ଦ୍ଧାମୂର୍ତ୍ତିଙ୍କ ଅପାର କୃପାରୁ ସମସ୍ତଙ୍କ ଜୀବନରେ ସୁଖ ଓ ସମୃଦ୍ଧି ଭରିଯାଉ।#ରଥଯାତ୍ରା #RathaJatra pic.twitter.com/dPSbDKBk5z— Naveen Patnaik (@Naveen_Odisha) July 4, 2019
Jagannath Yatra is one of the most awaited festivals of Odisha dedicated to Lord Jagganath, his sister Goddess Subhadra and elder brother Balabhadra.
The festival basically is celebrated to commemorate Jagannath’s visit to Gundicha Temple through Mausi Maa temple in Puri. The term 'Rath Yatra' means a ride on a chariot. Through this yatra, Lord Krishna, the eight incarnation of Lord Vishnu on earth is worshipped as Jagannath.
On brand new chariots, the deity forms of Lord Jagannath Balabhadra and Subhadra are decorated and then the yatra is conducted from Jagannath temple to Gudicha temple covering a distance of almost 2.5 km. The chariots are known as Nandighosha, Taladhwaja, and Devadalana respectively
The festival is celebrated during Ashadh Shukla Dwitiya and it rains every year during this time of the year.
The Lord rests for 9 days at the Gundicha temple and then returns to the Jagannath temple with just one stop in between. Lord returns backv only after having his favourite sweet, Poda Pitha which is a special kind of pancake famous in Odisha.
It was in the year 1975 that Nandini Satpathy, who was the then Chief Minister of Odisha, had started the tradition of pulling of Devi Subhadra’s chariot exclusively by women devotees.