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Rath Yatra Jagannath Puri

Puri, a small town located on Puri Beach of state of Odisha in India, developed into a religious town, have special religious importance with its Annual RathYatraFestial and Maha Rath Yatra at every 12 year or 19 year.

Puri is a popular destination for the devout Hindus, famous for its Jagannath Temple also misspelt with English word Juggernaut.Jagannath is misspelt withJuggernaut after a British called it Juggernaut in colonial period after seeing huge chariots and people jumping before it in enthusiasm and delight. He misunderstood the Odiya or Indian Culture of Rath Yatra as British always felt a superiority complex and misinterpreted native and folk traditions. Juggernaut is also result of one such complexity which is far from rich culture of RathYatraof Jagannath temple which have a unique tradition of preserving long-inherited traditions and exclusive privilege to local folk, local gods and local craft-persons.

In Hinduism, Lord Jagannath literally translates to “Lord of Universe.” Every June or July Rath Yatra Festival, also called Car or Chariot Festival takes place to commemorate journey of Lord Krishna from Gokul to Mathura.

Though RathYatrais an annual Festival a Maha Rath Yatratakes palce every 12 or 19 year. Thus, RathYatra 2016 is going to offer an elaborate and massive Maha Rath Yatraafter 19 long years and have many special showcasing of Indian Culture. Earlier Maha Rath Yatratook place in 1997.

History and Religious Importance : Though certain dates are unknown to any scholar of History, its s believed that JagannathPuriRath Yatra is more than 5, 000 years old dating back to Harappan Age. It is said that Shankaracharya, the great philosopher and saint of 8th-9th century India established 4 Mathas or shrines in all 4 corners of the country. These shrines are:

  • Kedar Nath in North
  • Shringeri in South
  • Puri in East and
  • Dwarka in West

Read More : Types of Rathas

Later, in Twelfth Century, when regional cultures grew around religious traditions the cult of Jagannath in Odisha or Orissa came in prominence.

In 12th Century, one of the most important rulers of Ganga Dynasty, AnantVarman, decided to erect a temple for PurushottamJagannath, one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu at Puri.

Subsequently, in 1230, King Anangbhima 3rd dedicated his kingdom to Lord Jagannath and proclaimed himself as “deputy of the God.”

Read More : Making of Rathas

As influence of temple gained importance as a pilgrimage centre, its authority in social and political matters also increased.”

Puri Rath yatra: Spiritual Journey Rath Yatra at PuriOdisha is originally a Hindu Festivity yet enjoyed by all and doesn’t have to do anything with entirety of Hindu Religion alone. It is said to be the symbolic of spirituality and journey of Atmana or soul from material existence to the abode of God. It is described in scriptures that body is the Ratha and soul is the charioteer which ultimately leads one to super soul, god after a long journey. Thus, Rath Yatra at Puri doesn’t have only a ritualistic relevance but also a symbolic significance to spiritualism.

Nearby Places to visit are: Konark Temple- Miss not the opportunity to visit Konark Temple which is UNESCO site and has been opened entirely for visitors after 100 years of reastorationwork.Oddissi Dance performances are a common tradition followed everyday either by practicing artistes or in festivals

Puri Beach- Jagannath Temple is located along Puri beach. It’s a picturesque natural beach on Bay of Bengal coast. The Deccan plateaus make several physiographical features for loving couples to hide and seek love for each other far from eyes of locals.

Dhauli- Dhauli is another place that is famous for indoctrination of Asoka the Great into fold of Buddhism as he was very remorseful for Kalinga War which took lives of millions. It is said that it was Dhauli Hills on which Asoka mounted to see the conquered region by him. Contrary to his expectation of finding lush green fields he found field where corpses decaying and blood scattered all over with children and women crying for their loving ones. He was so moved that he chanted the Buddhism Principles-

  • Buddham Sharanam Gachhami
  • Sanagham Sharanam Gachhami
  • Dhammam Sharanam Gachhami

Read More : Making of Rathas

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