NewsFlash - RATH YATRA


One of India’s largest and most important Hindu festivals, Rath Yatra draws more than a million pilgrims and devotees to the streets of Puri. Over the years, poets, saints and scriptures have consistently praised the good fortune associated with attending this “festival of the chariots”, since it is one of the only times annually that the deities leave the temple of Jagannath, allowing non-Hindus and visitors to see them. The three figurines that make the trip are Jagannath, his older brother Balabhadra, and their sister Subhadra. They travel more than a mile in elaborately constructed 45-foot-tall wooden chariots along Bada Danda (Puri’s main street), from the Jagannath Temple to the Gundicha Temple where they remain for nine days. During the procession – as drums beat, gongs bang and conch shells blow – pilgrims vie for even a glimpse of the gods, since they’re associated with extreme good fortune and the righting of wrongs.