Rath Yatra is a Hindu Festival which is associated with Lord Jagannath who is an avatar of Lord Vishnu, it is held at Puri, Odisha during the month of June or July. This puri yatra is a world well known and it draws in numerous individuals in excess of one million pilgrims each year. Individuals originate from India and additionally from various parts of the world.
The Rath itself is a curious thing. It is the specimen of old chariot-making. It is generally made of wood. Its turrets are like those of a church. It has a covering of gold and silver. It has all sorts of paintings and wooden figures all about it. It is 13.7 meters high and 10.7 meters square. It has sixteen wheels. Each wheel is 2.13 meters in diameter. The Rath is shown as being drawn by horses. But it is actually drawn by men with the help of ropes tied to it.
Rath Yatra is also called Chariot Festival is the only day when devotees who are not allowed into the temple can get a chance to see the deities. This festival is a symbol of equality and integration. The three deities, Lord Jagannath, his elder brother Lord Balabhadra and their sister Subhadra are worshipped within the temple, on this festival they are taken to the streets of Puri so that everyone can have the fortune to see them.
The three deities make an annual Journey to their aunt’s temple (Gundicha Temple), 2 km away from Lord Jagannath temple. The Jagannath temple in Puri is one among the four most sacred temples in India. The other three are Rameshwaram in the south, Dwarka in west and Badrinath in the north.
All the Hindus look forward to the day fixed for drawing of the Car. Thousands of people gather on either side of the road along which the cart passes. All the spectators try to get an opportunity of having a darshan of the god. They struggle hard to get near the car (Rath) and pull it.
The cart of Lord Jagannath is worthy of the temple of Jagannath. It is one of the grandest specimens of ancient architecture. Special police arrangements are made to check accidents. The police officers remain on the spot to direct the movements of the police.
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