About the Festival
RathYatra of the Puri is the oldest RathYatra taking place in India and world, whose existence can be dated back to 12th century! The festival commemorates Jagannath’s annual visit to Gundicha Temple via MausiMaa Temple.As part of RathaYatra, the deities of Jagannath,his elder brother Balabhadra and younger sister Subhadra are taken out in a procession to Gundicha Temple and remain there for nine days. Then the deities or RathaYatra return to the Main temple. The return journey of PuriJagannathRathaJatra is known as BahudaJatra.
Three richly decorated chariots,are pulled through the streets of Puri called Badadanda. This commemorates the annual journey of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and their sister Subhadra to their aunt’s temple. This is the only day when devotees who are not allowed in the temple premises, such as non-Hindus and foreigners, can get their glimpse of the deities. During the festival, devotees from all over the world go to Puri with an earnest desire to help pulling the Lords’ chariots with the help of other priests pulling the chariots with ropes. They consider this auspicious deed and risk their lives in the huge crowd.
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