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Jagannath Puri Rath Puri 2024: Date, History, Significance and Rituals

Jagannath Rath Yatra is a famous Hindu festival celebrated every year in the city of Puri, Odisha. It takes place on the Dwitiya Tithi, the second day of the bright fortnight of Sharad Paksha, a period of increasing moonlight considered auspicious for spiritual activities. This festival falls in the month of Asadh according to the Hindu lunar calendar, usually corresponding to June or July in the Gregorian calendar.

Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra 2024: Date and Timing

This year, the significant Hindu festival of Jagannath Rath Yatra is being observed on Sunday, July 7. According to Drik Panchang, the auspicious timings are:

  • Dwitiya Tithi Begins: 04:26 AM on July 6, 2024
  • Dwitiya Tithi Ends: 04:59 AM on July 7, 2024

History of Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra

The Jagannath Rath Yatra festival dates back to somewhere between the 12th and 16th centuries. Various stories and myths about its origins add to its mystique. Some believe it symbolizes Lord Krishna’s visit to his mother’s birthplace, while others attribute its origins to King Indradyumna, who is said to have initiated the rituals.

Historical records show that the festival gained prominence during the reign of Odisha’s Gajapati kings. Over the centuries, the Jagannath Rath Yatra has grown and evolved, yet its core purpose has remained unchanged.

Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra 2024 – Significance

The Jagannath Rath Yatra serves as a powerful symbol of Odisha’s rich cultural heritage and the deep faith of millions. Central to the festival is the symbolic journey of three deities: Lord Jagannath, his elder brother Balabhadra, and their sister Subhadra. These deities are believed to emerge from the Jagannath Temple in Puri and embark on a nine-day journey to the Gundicha Temple, their aunt’s temple, approximately 3 kilometers away.

Rituals of Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra

The Jagannath Rath Yatra unfolds through a series of captivating rituals, each rich in symbolism and tradition.

  • Rath Snana: A day before the grand procession, the deities undergo a ceremonial bath known as Rath Snana. During this ritual, 108 pots of aromatic water and sacred items are used, symbolizing the deities’ purification before their journey.
  • Rath Pratistha: Priests chant mantras and bless the newly constructed chariots, consecrating them as vessels for the divine journey.
  • Rath Yatra (Chariot Procession): Thousands of devotees line the streets, chanting hymns with fervor as they pull the grand chariots toward the Gundicha Temple. Here, the deities stay for nine days, offering devotees the chance to seek their blessings.
  • Bahuda Yatra (Return Journey): After the nine-day stay, the deities return to the Jagannath Temple in a similar joyous procession.
  • Niladri Vijaya: The festival concludes with Niladri Vijaya, where the chariots are dismantled, symbolizing the end of the divine journey and the promise of its renewal in the following year.

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