The festival of Rath Yatra has tremendous importance in Indian culture. This festival refers to the Lord Jagannath.
During this Yatra the God i.e. Lord Jagannath travels with Balabhadra (Brother) and Subhadra (Sister), from His holy temple located in Puri to visit His Aunt’s temple. This Yatra is also known as the Chariot festival.
The three deities Lord Jagannath,Balabhadra and Subhadra ride their decorative chariots and begin their journey to Gundicha Temple.The holy city drenched in festive mood. Devotees pay obeisance to the deities. The devotees’ joy knew no bounds when the deities are brought out of the temple in ceremonious procession known as Pahandi.Once the Pahandi is over the ceremonial sweeping of the divine chariots take place by the Gajapati of Puri. Even though many places on the earth observe car festival with enthusiasm, the RathaYatra at Puri is believed to be a major crowed puller. In Puri lakhs of devotees congregate, religious ecstasy sweeps across the holy city. Devotees are elated after pulling the chariots.
Three separate chariots are involved in this festival. Each chariot has its unique structure and specification. Nandighosa, it is the chariot of lord Jagannath. It is 23 cubits sky-scraping chariot with eighteen wheels. Taladhvaja, it is the chariot of Balabhadra. It is 22 cubits sky-scraping chariot and contains sixteen wheels. Devadalana, it is the chariot of Subhadra. It is also a sky-scraping chariot 21 cubits high and consists of fourteen wheels. In order to keep maintain the sacred stipulations these chariots are made from the wood. There is also specification regarding the idols of the deities. They are also made from the wood and obliged to substitute by the new idols after every twelve years, known as Nabakalebara. This festival continues for the next nine days. After the long stopover of nine days, the three deities return back to their place i.e. the city temple.
The Rath Yatra festival is celebrated across the country. Puri Rath Yatra is considered as the most divine and sacred since it is the house of three deities. In Ahmedabad, Rath Yatra has given the modern touch by including satellite communication that controls the flood of crowd. Police controls this crowd using the pictures shown by the satellite. Mahesh is a place in West Bengal. Elaborate security arrangements are made by the administration and ensuring safe Ratha Tana (pulling) for the devotees.
This festival unites the people living in India. It is an honor to pull the chariot. Devotees from different parts of the world come to observe Rath Yatra to get the divine blessings and express their happiness.