Why we celebrate Rath Yatra?
What is the origin of the Rath Yatra? No one really knows. One reason given is that a chariot was drawn to transport the imperfect statue to the constructed temple. Since the first journey was made in a chariot this became a part of the custom. According to the other legends, Subhadra wanted to visit Dwarka, her parents home. Therefore, her two brothers Jagannath and balabhadra took her there on this day. One legend says that Lord Jagannath is said to have voiced his longing to visit his birthplace Gundicha Ghar once yearly. Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabadhra and Subadhra travel in separate chariots. Lord jagannath rides a 14 metre high chariot with sixteen wheels. Each chariot resembles the temple at Puri.
Thousands of devotees pull these chariots by huge ropes to Gundicha Mandir. The day of the yatra resounds with the sounds of gongs, conch shells, trumpets and holy chants. The crowds are overcome with frenzy. Balabhadra the eldest brother rides first, followed by Subhadra and then Lord jagannath. After nine days, the idols are taken back to the Jagannath Temple in an identical Parade. The city of Puri is dressed up for this day. A national holiday is declared. On that day good sweet are made and distributed.
Jagannath Swami Ki Jyoti Se Noor Milta Hai,
Sabke Dilo Ko Shurur Milta Hai,
Jo Bhi Jata Hai Jagannath Swami Ke Dwar,
Kuch Na Kuch Jarur Milta Hai.
Jay Jagannath jisaka nam hai,
Puri jisaka dham hai aise bhagvan ko
ham sab ka pranam hai.
Happy Ratha Yatra.