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"Lord Of The Universe'': How Rath Yatra Is Celebrated Across The Globe [In Pictures]

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| July 18 , 2015 , 07:52 IST
Thousands of devotees throng to the holy town of Puri every year to witness the annual Rath Yatra, also known as the Chariot festival or Cart festival, which began on Saturday. WATCH LIVE: Century’s Biggest Nabakalebara Rath Yatra Starts In Puri [caption id="attachment_84616" align="aligncenter" width="699"]Sudarshan Patnaik Sand Artist Puri Sand artist Sudarshan Patnaik tweeted this photograph of his sculpture on the Nabakalebara Yatra 2015 in Puri[/caption] The year 2015 happens to be Nabakalebara (Naba-New and Kalebara-Body) that comes once in 15- 19 years and the last Nabakalebara happened in 1996. It’s the time when idols Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra, Subhadra and Sudarshan are replaced by a new set of idols at the Jagannath Temple in Puri which is also known as Shree Khetra. [caption id="attachment_84651" align="aligncenter" width="696"](141119) -- KATHMANDU, Nov. 19, 2014 (Xinhua) -- Devotees offer prayers during the celebration of Rath Yatra or the Chariot Festival at Hanumandhoka in Kathmandu, Nepal, Nov. 18, 2014. (Xinhua/Sunil Sharma) Devotees offer prayers during the celebration of Rath Yatra or the Chariot Festival at Hanumandhoka in Kathmandu, Nepal. (Photo: IANS)[/caption]
Did you know that birds or planes do not fly above the Jagannath temple? Here Are 7 Interesting Facts About Puri Rath Yatra And Lord Jagannath Temple On Friday, after the initial early morning and morning hour rituals in the sanctum sanctorum, the four deities — Shri Sudarshan, Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Lord Jagannath — are brought to the chariots on the Bada Danda (grand road) individually in a grand procession by the temple servitors. [caption id="attachment_84650" align="aligncenter" width="703"]Durban Rath Ytra Rath Yatra celebrations in Dublin, SA (Photo Courtesy: Facebook)[/caption]
The prime ritual of the day ‘Chhera Pahanra’ (sweeping of the chariots) is solemnised by Puri Gajapati Dibya Singhdev followed by sprinkling of holy water and sandal. This is a symbolic gesture by the king to convey the divine message of dignity of labour and equality. [caption id="attachment_84649" align="aligncenter" width="698"]Moscow Rath Yatra Chariot Festival in Moscow, Russia (Photo Courtesy: m.dandavats.com)[/caption]
ALSO READ: Rath Yatra 2015: All You Need To Know About The Nabakalebara Yatra The first step of the yatra begins with Banajaga Jatra, wherein a group of Daitapatis proceed on this Jatra to locate and bring back the ‘Daru Brahma’ that would make the new bodies. [caption id="attachment_84648" align="aligncenter" width="701"]Michigan Rath Yatra 1 Rath Yatra being celebrated in Michigan, US - (Photo Courtesy: facebook.com/mirathyatra)[/caption]
The deities will have a nine-day sojourn at the Gundicha temple. And, they return to Shree Mandir only after completion of the nine-day Yatra on the same chariots called ‘Bahuda Yatra’ (return car festival). [caption id="attachment_84652" align="aligncenter" width="696"]London Rath yatra Jagannath Rath Yatra celebrations in London, UK (Photo Courtesy: Iskcon Satna/Facebook)[/caption]
ALSO READ: Five Reasons Why You Must Visit Puri Once In A Lifetime Besides Gajapati, Puri Gobardhan Peeth Shankaracharya Nischilanand Saraswati visits the chariots and has darshan of the deities. Then begins the chariot pulling one by one in the afternoon to reach the destination of Gundicha temple from Shree Mandir. [caption id="attachment_84675" align="alignnone" width="699"] Rath Yatra in Dublin, Ireland (Photo Courtesy: facebook.com/rathayatra.ie) Rath Yatra in Dublin, Ireland (Photo Courtesy: facebook.com/rathayatra.ie)[/caption]
The rituals of Rath Yatra start approximately 18 days before of the yatra. Lord Jagannatha, his brother Balabhadra and his sister Devi Subhadra are given famous ceremonial bath which is known as Snana Yatra. One day before Rath Yatra, the temple is cleaned by the devotees of Lord Jagannath. This ritual of cleaning the temple is known as 'Gundicha Marjana'. [caption id="attachment_84687" align="aligncenter" width="699"]Melbourne Rath Yatra Rath Yatra celebrations in Melbourne, Australia[/caption]
The Nabakalebar festival, which started on March 29, will conclude on July 27 after the Suna Besha on the chariots itself.

“Lord Of The Universe”: How Rath Yatra Is Celebrated Across The Globe | shreejagannath

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