Jagannath Rath Yatra 2024 – Celebrating 170+ Years Of Sacred Tradition!

The event Jagannath Rath Yatra starts in Puri, Odisha, and has great recognition. As per the Hindu Calendar, the Rath Yatra takes place every year in the Ashadha month of Shukla Paksha and concludes with the return of Lord Jagannath on the eleventh day of Ashadha Shukla Paksha. The festival is dedicated to Lord Jagannath, who is considered to be the incarnation of Lord Hari Vishnu. 

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This yatra is also referred to as Rath Mahotsav and Gundicha Yatra. Devotees from all over the country and the world arrive for this event in the state of Odisha to take part in the Yatra. The Jagannath temple of Odisha is one of four holy pilgrimage sites in India. Here, the eighth incarnation of Shri Hari Vishnu, Shri Hari Krishan is worshiped along with elder brother Baladhadra and sister Subhadra with full rituals. The idols of all three are present in the Jagannath temple. 

As per the Vedic scriptures, the worship of Lord Jagannath on this occasion brings the best out in the people’s lives. In Odisha, the festival of Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra is celebrated with great enthusiasm and pomp. Lakhs of devotees from all over the country take part in this mega Rath Yatra. 

This special AstroSage blog contains details related to “Jagannath Rath Yatra 2024”, the date & time of the Rath Yatra, why Lord Jagannath got ill before the yatra, and more. Read the blog till the end to get the right answers from this blog. 

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Date And Time Of Jagannath Rath Yatra 

As per the Hindu Calendar, the Rath Yatra starts on the second day of Shukla Paksha of the Ashadha month and ends after 10 days, i.e. on the eleventh day of the yatra. In 2024, the Jagannath Rath Yatra starts on 07 July 2024 and ends after 10 days. The festival falls in June or July every year. Let us move further and check the Muhurat of the event. 

Muhurat Of Jagannath Rath Yatra 2024 

Start of Dwitiya Tithi: 07 July 2024 from 04:28 pm;

End of Dwitiya Tithi: 08 July 2024 till 05:01 pm. 

Importance Of Jagannath Rath Yatra 

Jagannath Rath Yatra is one of the premier festivals that is organized every year in Odisha. It is regarded as one of the biggest events or celebrations of the country. The belief is that the person taking the journey to Gundicha Nagar by chanting the name of Lord Jagannath can free themselves from the bondage of rebirth and attain Vaikuntha Dham. Lord Jagannath is one of the forms of Lord Krishna, the eighth incarnation of Vishnu Ji. It originated by combining two words, ‘Jagan’ means universe, and ‘Nath’ refers to God. 

We can get a detailed journey description in the ancient texts of Sanatan Dharma, like Narad Purana, Skanda Purana, Brahma Purana, Padma Purana, etc. The belief associated with Jagannath Rath Yatra during this journey is that pulling the chariot symbolizes devotion towards the lord gracefully. The persons get freedom from their sins committed knowingly or unknowingly by participating in the yatra. Due to this, the person can be cured of different health troubles or sufferings. 

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Lord Jagannath Visits The Aunt’s Yatra In Rath Yatra 

From the point of devotion, Jagannath Rath Yatra is considered a crucial event and has a great religious significance. During this journey, Lord Jagannath appears before their devotees along with brother Lord Balabhadra and sister Subhadra once a year. In this period, the devotees will get the darshan of God, who doesn’t get darshan in the temple. As per the religious beliefs, Lord Jagannath rides the chariot along with brother Baladhadra & sister Subhadra to visit the aunt’s house at Gundicha temple. This temple is considered to be the aunt’s house of Lord Jagannath where they spend time for a week.  

The lord is treated with utmost respect and their aunt showers a lot of love during this period. There is the belief that Aunty prepares different dishes for Lord Jagannath, brother Baladhadra, and sister Subhadra. They eat the food with great love, but after that, they fall ill. To heal the lord, Pathya is offered and Lord Jagannath appears before the devotees only after full recovery. Let us tell the readers that the process of giving darshan to their devotees of Jagannath Ji while staying at the aunt’s house is known as ‘Adap-Darshan’. 

Know The Preparation Of Chariot For Jagannath Yatra 

The chariot is prepared or developed differently for the Jagannath Rath Yatra for visiting the aunt’s home. Due to this, separate chariots are developed for the lords & goddesses. In the journey of Rath Yatra, Balram Ji is positioned in the front, sister Subhadra Ji in the middle, and Lord Jagannath Ji in the back. The preparation of chariots starts from Akshaya Tritiya. To prepare the chariot, Neem trees are used and it is considered very sacred in the Sanatan Dharma. The wood of the chariot is selected on the day of Basant Panchami. One of the special things is that no metal, nails, or thrones are used to prepare Rath Yatra. This is meant to maintain the sanity of the chariot. This has been described in the scriptures that nails or thorns shouldn’t be used in any spiritual activity. Even any type of iron or other types of metals shouldn’t be used in preparatory tasks. 

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Talking about the height of the chariot, special care is taken about the height of the vehicle. These chariots that are built every year are prepared at a uniform height. The height of Lord Jagannath’s chariot is 45.6 feet, also known as Nandighosh or Garuddhwaj. Whereas the height of Balram Ji’s chariot will be 45 feet and the chariot of Subhadra Ji is prepared 44.6 feet high. The name of Balram Ji’s temple is ‘Taladhwaj’ which is red and green in color. The name of Subhadra Ji’s chariot is ‘Darpadalan’ or ‘Padma Rath’. The chariot is black or blue in color. The auspicious red color is also mixed with it. The color of Lord Jagannath’s chariot will be red and yellow. 

Specialty of Jagannath Rath Yatra 

There are many special things related to Jagannath Rath Yatra that are very important for all of us to know. So, let’s move ahead and check the best things related to the Jagannath Rath Yatra. 

  • There are 16 wheels in the chariot of Lord Jagannath and the chariot is pulled with a Shankhachuda rope. To prepare the chariot, Neem wood is used in varied ways. 
  • On this day, Lord Jagannath, Balbhadra Ji, and goddess Subhadra are seated on three magnificent chariots. Balram Ji’s chariot moves in the first position, sister Subhadra Ji’s chariot will be in the middle, and Lord Jagannath’s chariot will be at the back. 

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  • The color of Balram Ji and Goddess Subhadra’s chariot will be red and the Lord Jagannath’s chariot will be red or yellow in color. 
  • On the second day of Ashadh Shukla Paksha, the journey of Jagannath Ji starts. The belief is that it definitely rains on Lord Jagannath’s Rath Yatra. This is considered auspicious to rain on this day. To date, it never happened that it didn’t rain on the rath yatra. 
  • During this period, the members of the king’s family sweep the ground in front of Lord Jagannath’s chariot with a broom having a golden handle. In this period, the journey of the chariot takes place with shouting and chanting of mantras. 
  • There are different beliefs related to the Rath Yatra. The devotees participating in the journey on this day equals 100 Yagyas. 
  • It is believed that Lord Jagannath comes out of the Garvgrah to check the condition of its people through this journey. 

Chhar Pahanra Ritual Takes Place On The Day 

The ritual of Chhar Pahanra starts when the chariots are ready for the Jagannath Rath Yatra. Let us inform the readers that Chhar Pahanra is an Odia word that means sweeping & sprinkling of holy water. Under this, the king of Puri visits the temple and worships the chariot with full devotion & enthusiasm. After that, a golden broom is used to clean the Rath Mandap and also the route of the journey. 

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Lord Falls Ill 15 Days Before The Rath Yatra 

As per the mythological beliefs, Lord Jagannath falls ill due to a fever, 15 days just before Rath Yatra. Thus, the lord goes to live alone for a few days. Due to this, the devotees are unable to view the lord. Only the chief priest of the temple goes to him during this period and he adorns the lord. They also offer other things to the lord for various purposes. The priest also takes care of them. They require medicine, rest, and care. During this period, the chief priest offers food that contains herbs & medicines so that they get well soon. As the lord completely recovers, then preparations are made to leave for the journey. Only then, the lord comes out of the temple. 

God Falls Ill Because Of This 

As per the scriptures, in the Ashadha month, when there is excessive sunlight and severe heat, on the day of Jyestha Purnima, the lord comes out of the Garvgraha and bathes with 108 pitchers of cold water. In the process, they are made to sit outside in the courtyard and are given a bath. The festival is also known as ‘Snan Utsav’ and hundreds of devotees come to the courtyard during this period. After bathing in cold water, the lord falls ill, and due to this, after Jyestha Purnima, the main temple is closed for darshan for 15 days. It is done so that they take a rest. Other than that, if we talk from the scientific point of view, it is very hot in Puri during this period and the main temple remains closed for a few days. This is done so that the devotees don’t get disturbed due to it. 

Main Reasons For Falling Ill 

It is believed that Lord Jagannath stands in the Sun after taking a bath in cold water for the entire day. They fall ill & get very high fever due to cold and heat. They are then placed in the treatment room where they are given food & medicine and then treated like a patient. Also, the chief priest takes good care of them. 

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Q1. When will Jagannath Rath Yatra start in 2024?

Ans. The Jagannath Rath Yatra starts on 07 July 2024 and ends after 10 days. 

Q2. How many days does the Rath Yatra last?

Ans. The Jagannath Rath Yatra lasts for 10 days. 

Q3. Why is the Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath carried out?

Ans. The belief is that sister Subhadra expressed her desire to visit the city with her two brothers, and since then the Rath Yatra has been organized. 

Q4. How many chariots participate in the Puri Rath Yatra?

Ans. In the Rath Yatra, Lord Jagannath, Balaram Ji, and sister Subhadra mount on three separate chariots and are pulled by devotees through the streets of Puri to the Gundicha temple. 

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