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Puri Shree Jagannath Temple Rath Yatra - Chariot Details


Different Names of Chariot or Ratha Details of Puri Shree Jagannath Temple Rath Yatra (Chariot Festival)

Puri Shree Jagannath Temple is famous for its annual Rath Yatra (Chariot Festival), where the deities Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Debi Subhadra are taken out of the temple in three grand chariots. Detailed specifications and aspects of each chariot used during the festival

Lord Jagannath's Chariot (Nandighosa)

  • Lord Jagannath's chariot is called Nandighosa, which is draped in red and yellow cloth.
  • Height: Approximately 45 feet (13.7 meters).
  • Number of Wheels: 16 wheels, each about 7 feet in diameter.
  • Chariot Color: Red and yellow.
  • Guardians: Garuda, Hanuman.
  • Flag: Red flag.

Lord Balabhadra's Chariot (Taladhwaja)

  • Balabhadra's chariot is called Taladhwaja or Langaladhwaja, draped in red and blue.
  • Height: Approximately 44 feet (13.4 meters).
  • Number of Wheels: 14 wheels, each about 7 feet in diameter.
  • Chariot Color: Red and green.
  • Guardians: Vasudeva, Ganesha.
  • Flag: Green flag.

Debi Subhadra's Chariot (Darpadalana or Devadalana)

  • Subhadra's chariot is called Devadalana or Padmadhwaja, draped in red and black.
  • Height: Approximately 43 feet (13.1 meters).
  • Number of Wheels: 12 wheels, each about 7 feet in diameter.
  • Chariot Color: Red and black.
  • Guardians: Jayadurga, Bhadrakali.
  • Flag: Black flag.

Materials used for chariot Construction of Chariot - Shree Jagannath Temple

Wood: The chariots are traditionally made from specific types of wood like Neem, Phassi, Dhaura, and Simal.

Artisans: Skilled carpenters, painters, and craftsmen work on the chariots, adhering to age-old traditions.

Decorations: The chariots are decorated with various motifs, including flowers, mythological scenes, and divine symbols.

Rituals and Procession before construction of the chariot start

Preparation: Construction starts months in advance, following the Akshaya Tritiya festival.

Pahandi: The ceremonial procession where the deities are brought out of the temple to the chariots.

Rath Yatra: The main event where the chariots are pulled by devotees to the Gundicha Temple, about 3 kilometers away from Shree Jagannath Temple.

Bahuda Yatra: The deities return to the Jagannath Temple in a similar procession called the Bahuda Yatra. The Rath Yatra is not only a religious event but also a major cultural and social gathering, attracting millions of devotees and tourists from around the world. The chariots are a focal point of the festival, representing the divine journey of the deities and showcasing the rich heritage of Odisha.

Anavasara or Anasara Ghar rituals of Puri Jagannath Temple

During the Anavasara period, it is believed that Lord Jagannath, along with his siblings Balabhadra and Subhadra, fell ill after the grand Rath Yatra festival. The deities are said to be suffering from fever, and they retreat to a secret chamber in the Temple for a period of rest and recovery. Devotees are not allowed to see the deities during this time.

The Anavasara period or Anasara Ghar rituals is a significant time in the annual cycle of rituals at the Puri Shree Jagannath Temple. Detailed of this rituals:

Meaning: "Anavasara" or “Anasara Ghar” means the period when the deities are not visible to the public. It comes from the Sanskrit words "An" (not) and "Avasara" (opportunity).

Duration: It typically lasts for about 15 days.

When will "Anavasara" or “Anasara Ghar” start: It occurs immediately after the Snana Yatra (the bathing festival), which is held on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Jyestha (usually in June).

When will "Anavasara" or “Anasara Ghar” end: Before Ratha Yatra and the day of Nava Jaubana Darshana

Significance and Activities Snana Yatra at Jagannath Temple Puri

Snana Yatra: The deities (Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra) are brought out to the Snana Bedi, a special bathing platform, and given a ceremonial bath with 108 pots of consecrated water. This ritual marks the beginning of the Anavasara period. Post the elaborate bath, it is believed that the deities catch a fever and need to rest and recuperate. This symbolizes their human-like aspects. During this time, the deities are taken to a special place within the temple called the Anavasara Pindi, where they are kept in seclusion from the public eye.

Rituals: The deities undergo a series of treatments, which include the application of herbal medicines and specific rituals conducted by the temple priests. This period is referred to as "Anasara" or "Anavasara".The rituals performed are meant to restore the health of the deities and prepare them for the upcoming Rath Yatra.

Devotee Worship: During the Anavasara period, devotees do not get to see the deities. Instead, they worship the images of Lord Alarnath (an incarnation of Vishnu) at the Alarnath Temple in Brahmagiri, about 25 kilometers from Puri. This temple is known as "Alarnath Darshan".

Preparation for Rath Yatra at Jagannath Dham Puri

The Anavasara period serves as a crucial preparatory phase leading up to the grand Rath Yatra (Chariot Festival), where the rejuvenated deities are taken out in procession to Gundicha Temple.

The Anavasara period is a unique blend of rituals, beliefs, and practices that underscore the intimate relationship between the deities and their devotees, reflecting the deeply rooted cultural and religious traditions of Odisha.

Alarnath is a place of great religious significance in Odisha, India, located near Brahmagiri, about 25 kilometers from Puri. The main attraction of Alarnath is the temple dedicated to Lord Alarnath, a form of Lord Vishnu. The temple is particularly famous for a particular period with a unique ritual called "Anavasara" or "Anasara,".

Nava Jaubana Darshana of Puri Jagannth Temple

Day Before Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra an event called "Netrotsava" or "Nava Jaubana Darshana," which is a significant ritual where the Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Debi Subhadra are ceremonially open for public view inside the temple. This ritual is performed on the day before the Rath Yatra begins.