We have heard of this English word called Juggernaut. This is a word that is used to describe anything that is massive and crushes whatever comes on its way! Do we know that the inspiration for this word life in the state of Orissa in the town of Puri!? The word ‘juggernaut’ is derived from the name of the deity Jagannath who rides on the leviathan Chariot, also referred to as the Ratha.
During the Odia festival, this Rath Yatra takes place in its fullest Josh. This festival is typically the procession of chariots. The Chariot procession tradition is quite common in the Vaishnava Sect of Hinduism in India. It is also common with the Shaiva Hindus in Nepal.
There are a lot of Rathi address that takes place in the different parts of the country, including places like Ahmedabad and Ludhiana. However, the one that takes place in Puri is the most famous and the most massive of them all! This is also the oldest Rath Yatra that takes place not only in India, also in the entire world. Dimensions of this Yatra can be found in Itihasas like Brahma Purana, Padma Purana, and the Skanda Purana.
The Rath Yatra is a nice day-long observation that involves three deities - Jagannath, who is considered to be an avatar of Vishnu, his brother Balabhadra and his sister Subhadra. These three letters are taken out in a profession in richly decorated chariots that are pulled by thousands of customers who throng in huge numbers to this insanely festive occasion. This is a 2 kilometer long position that proceeds from the temple of Jagannath to the temple of there on called as Mausi Maa Temple.
To give an idea of how to message this festival is, there are a few numbers that might help. The number of devotees who visit Puri for this festival goes in the order of millions. This festival is broadcast live by many Indian and international television channels. With the Inception of online media, there are also live webcasts of the Yatra. The Chariot is 45 feet tall. Along with the Grandeur of the Chariot pulling, there are also a lot of devotional songs that are played like along with drums, Tambourines, trumpets and a host of other musical instruments.
If you are under the impression that the Puri Jagannath Yatra is just about those 9 days, we are sorry to disappoint you! The celebration of the Yatra starts right from the time when people start to choose the specific trees that need to provide wood for those massive chariots. The wood is mostly taken from specific trees like phassi and dhausa. These woods are procured from the erstwhile princely state of Dasapala by the specialist team of carpenters who have been awarded the privilege of making the Ratha for generations that go deep into the past! The logs that have been sawed from mysteries is set to float as a raft on the river Mahanadi. After an extensive session of floating, they are collected near Puri and are transported by road.
Then comes the tedious task of decorating The Chariots under a very unique scheme that has been practiced for centuries together. The Raptors are covered in bright red strips of cloth and are combined with the black yellow and blue colors.
Thanks to the phenomenon of globalization and the tireless efforts of the ISKCON movement, the Rath Yatra is no longer confined to Puri alone (although the intensity in Puri is at a different level altogether!). The Rath Yatra now takes place in over 100 cities in the world commemorating the occasion of the Yatra of Lord Jagannath.
Just like any other festival, the Puri Jagannath Yatra also involves a lot of crackers in action. These crackers brighten up the already bright occasion, amazing the devotees in quite a festive mood amid the pleasurable yet tiresome pulling of the Chariot!