Jagannath Rath Yatra 2020: History and Significance of Puri’s Annual Chariot Festival

Puri, June 22: The annual Jagannath Rath Yatra in Odisha’s Puri district will begin on Tuesday, June 23. Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court said that Rath Yatra 2020 will only be conducted in Puri with restrictions due to the rising COVID-19 cases. It said that the yatra will be held with coordination of the temple committee, Central and state governments. The chariots of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra from the Jagannath temple to Gundicha temple.

The supreme court has said that each chariot should be pulled by not more than 500 people and all of them should test for COVID-19. The apex court added that those engaged in rath pulling should maintain social distancing. Jagannath Rath Yatra 2020: Complete Shutdown in Puri From 9 PM Today Till 2 PM on Wednesday.

The three wooden chariots are quite heavy as they are made out of more than 13,000 cubic ft timber. In past years, thousands of devotees used to pulling raths with sturdy ropes tied around. After reaching Gudicha temple, the three deities stay there for eight days and on nine-day, they return to the Jagannath temple in a similar fashion. Jagannath Rath Yatra 2020 Update: Here Are Things That Are Allowed And Not Allowed During Puri Rath Yatra.

History and Significance:

The historic Lord Jagannath Yatra is a nine-day long celebration dedicated to Lord Jagannath and his siblings- Lord Balabhadra and Goddes Subhadra. The chariots of three deities are pulled from Lord Jagannath Temple to Shri Gundicha Temple, around 3 km away.

Lord Jagannath’s chariot is known as Nandighosha, Kapiladhwaja or Garudadhwaja. Lord Balabhadra’s chariot is called Taladhwaja/Langaladhwaja and Goddess Subadhra ride on chariot named Darpadalana, Padmadhwaja or Devadalana.

Rath Yatra is celebrated every year as it is believed that Lord Jagannath wishes to visit his birthplace. The Jagannath Rath Yatra symbolises the journey of Lord Krishna and his siblings from Dwarka to Braj Bhoomi, a place where he grew up. It is also believed to be recreation of Krisha’s departure from Gokul after being summoned by Kansa to Mathura.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 22, 2020 09:13 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).

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