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RathYatra- Festival of Chariots.

Exploring the Significance of Rath Yatra.

Introduction:

Rath Yatra or the Grand Chariot Festival is the festival in which Raths- Chariots are being pulled by devotees from Jagannath Temple to Gundicha Temple which is attended by millions of tourists every year. In this blog post I will be covering the history of Rath Yatra, some quick answers & the importance of Rath Yatra – Culturally, Religiously & Economically.

Krupasindhu Muduli, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

What is Rath Yatra?

Rath Yatra is a festival celebrated mainly in the city of Puri, Odisha in which big chariots – Raths are decorated with beautiful carnations that are being carried with different deities for almost three kilometers to the temple of Gundicha- which is considered as their aunt’s home.

Who are the deities that were carried in those chariots?

Those huge Raths carries – Great Lord Jagannath, his elder brother Balabhadra (Balarama), his sister Subhadra also famous by the name as “Triad of Puri”. Those chariots are so huge and so beautifully designed with different colors that attracts a lot of tourists.

SoumilyaDe, CC BY 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Why it is Celebrated?

Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra & Devi Subhadra are considered as the most sacred God of Odisha region and out of the supreme Gods of Hinduism i.e., Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu & Lord Shiva. Lord Jagannath was the incarnation of lord Vishnu- The preserver of Hinduism.

Jagannath Temple or Shree Temple of Puri have all of these three deities and the history behind carrying these Raths by those devotees is because Gundicha Temple is considered as their Aunt’s Home. This Rath yatra commemorates their annual visit to their aunt’s home i.e., Gundicha Temple.

Government of Odisha, CC BY 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Who’s lord Jagannath?

Lord Jagannath is worshipped in Hinduism. His dark complexion with round face and constantly staring eyes – his facial characteristics. Lord Jagannath is considered as one of the Incarnation of lord Vishnu thus lord Jagannath is considered as one of the supreme God of Hinduism.

Lord Krishna was also the incarnation of lord Vishnu thus Lord Jagannath- Krishna & Vishnu, all are same.

Overall Lord Jagannath is the significance of love, compassion and also considered as the supreme God of Hinduism.

What is Economical significance of Rath yatra?

Rath yatra as brings a lot of tourists both nationally and internationally thus during rath yatra days a surge in Economic of India is observed.
1. Tourism Industry: Due to increased number of tourists.

2. Hospitality Industry: Increased number of tourists leads to lodge & hotel room bookings and thus this industry also faces a surge.

3. Local Vendors: This festival provides a lot of opportunity to sell local accessories and various things.

4. Employment: Due to increased number of tourists – market demands increases & thus number of employers are required i.e., more man power is required.

5. Artisans and Craftsmen: As Grand Raths are decorated with a lot of things all because of those skilled artisans and craftsmen thus, this month plays a vital role in showcasing art of these artists and gives them opportunity to showcase the age-old art of Odisha.

Sumita Roy Dutta, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Summary:

Lord Jagannath is one of the supreme God of Hinduism, God of unity and dignity. Annually Raths of all three deities were carried to Gundicha temple covering almost three kilometers commemorating their annual visit to their aunt’s home i.e., Gundicha Temple and lots of tourists still gather to see the grand chariot and to worship lord Jagannath, Balarama and Subhadra.

Rath Yatra is the significance of love and devotion towards lord Jagannath, Balarama and Subhadra. Rath Yatra attracts millions of tourists from all across world and thus this holds a great importance in India culturally, religiously and economically. Millions of tourists yet attending the view of the grand chariot is the showcase of love towards those positive energies.

Thanks for reading till the end. Hope this must have put some importance in your knowledge.

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