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Rath Yatra 2023

About a million local and international visitors flock to the city of Puri to witness this amazing Hindu festival


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Rath Jatra (or Ratha Yatra) is the annual Festival of Chariots celebrated in June or July in Puri, the temple town in Odisha on the east coast of India. The festival is dedicated to Lord Jagannath (Lord Krishna). Yatra is the chariot procession taking place from the Jagannath temple to the Gundicha temple. The deities of the main temple Lord Jagannath, his brother Lord Balabhadra, and his sister Goddess Subhadra are taken out from the temple and placed into their respective chariots. The large lavishly decorated chariots are carried by hundreds of people through the main street leading to the Gundicha temple for about 3,2 km (2 mi). After a stay in Gundicha for about a week, the deities are taken all the way back.

Massive processions carrying the chariots play special songs accompanied with drums, trumpets, and tambourines. Children line the streets where the chariot is supposed to pass adding to the celebration. The chariots are approximately 14 m (45 ft) high and are pulled by hundreds of devotees who consider it a great honour. Millions of people flock to Puri for Rath Yatra from all over India. The event is broadcast live on TV and websites.

Rath Jatra in Puri is the oldest Rath Jatra in the world, described in sacred texts such as Brahma Purana, Padma Purana, Skanda Purana, and Kapila Samhita. This is also the only day when non-Hindus are allowed to get their glimpse of the deities.

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