The Rath Yatra in Odisha is a profoundly significant and grand festival that takes place at the Jagannath Temple in Puri.

This traditional festival, locally known as “Chariot Festival” or “Rath Yatra,” witnesses an immense display of enthusiasm and devotion among people. It occurs on the auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya, marked by the ceremonial planting of a wooden log (known as ‘Daru Brahma’) inside the temple premises. This ritual signifies the commencement of preparations for the Rath Yatra.

During the festival, Lord Jagannath, along with his siblings, Lord Balabhadra, and Devi Subhadra, is worshipped on elaborately decorated chariots or ‘raths.’ These chariots are pulled by thousands of devotees through the streets of Puri to the Gundicha Temple, a distance of about three kilometers. This symbolic journey represents the deities visiting their aunt’s house.

The fervor of the Rath Yatra extends beyond just religious significance; it holds a special place in the hearts of the people of Odisha. The festival celebrates the internal communion and joyous connection between Lord Jagannath, his consort Maa Lakshmi, and his brother Balabhadra. It is a spectacle of immense devotion and communal celebration, uniting people from diverse backgrounds in a spirit of reverence and joy.

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