Chariot Festival Puri 2016
Grand Celebration of the Chariot Festival of India
The spectacular Rath Yatra Festival, popularly renowned as the Chariot festival is a lofty celebration, where devotees from all across India and abroad worship the spiritual chariot of Lord Jagannath (avatar of Lord Krishna and Lord Vishnu) at Puri, Orissa. Commemorating the journey of Lord Krishna from Gokul Dham to the sacred Mathura, this annual festivity is celebrated on 2nd day on the bright fortnight of Ashad month as per traditional Oriya calendar (Ashad Shukla Dwitiya).
The Chariot Festival: A Blissful Journey of Lord Jagannath
The Jagannath Puri Yatra in 2016 is a carnival marking its beginning on the July 6th, Wednesday. The Chariot festival in India is a nine-day long event celebrated with great enthusiasm by the locals and aficionados from all over the world.
As the part of the festival, Lord Jagannath, his elder brother Lord Balabhadra, and sister Subhadra, come out of their abode and venture around in a grand colourful temple-like chariot (popularly known asRath in Hindi). The majestic procession is carried to give blessings (Darshan) to millions of devotees belonging to different faction and communities. Hindus strongly believe that those who take part in the Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra earn salvation and their way to Heaven.
Some of the other most popular Chariot Festivals of India are Rath Yatra of Ahmedabad and Rath Yatra of Mahesh (Hoogly, West Bengal).
Exploring the Fun and Thrill of Chariot Festival
‘Snana Purnima’ commemorates the beginning of Chariot Festival in Puri. It is believed that on this day the three deities take holy bath on a gigantic podium, famous as ‘Snana Bedi.’ They then go in complete isolation for a period of 15 days. The period is known as ‘Anabasara,’ and that time no public worship is allowed. Post-isolation, the idols are brought in public on a bright temple-like Chariot.
As the part of Rath Yatra, the idols of these three deities are taken out in a procession on the Chariot to Gundicha Temple where they stay for nine days. Later, they are back to Puri Jagannath Temple, by the return journey popularized as ‘Bahuda Yatra.’
Many artisans and designers tint the Chariot in the right hue and pattern. A public holiday is declared in the state. Children roam around the street dancing on musical drums and playing with the miniature version of the chariot. Women involve themselves in home decoration and sweet distribution.
How to Reach?
The famous cities, including Puri, where these festivals are celebrated in an impressive style are well-connected by rail (Puri Railway Junction), air (Bhubhaneshwar Airport at 56 km. distance), and road.
Where to Stay?
To witness the vibrant festival and participate in the fun and thrill across the city, book rooms or make accommodation arrangements well in advance. Different types of rooms are available in Puri from Standard to Deluxe to Luxury. The accommodations in Puri are located close to railway station and bus stop. Victoria Club Hotel, Niladri Hotel, Hotel Arya Palace are some of the famous hotels in Puri.
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