Jagannath Rath Yatra 2023: Learn About The Story Behind The Rath Yatra!

Jagannath Rath Yatra 2023: The Jagannath Rath Yatra, one of the most awaited and revered festivals in India, is set to enthrall devotees once again in 2023. This magnificent festival, also known as the Chariot Festival, holds deep spiritual significance for millions of Hindus, particularly in the eastern state of Odisha. This festival is dedicated to Lord Jagannath, who is said to be the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, known as Srihari Krishna. 

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The grand procession of Lord Jagannath, accompanied by his siblings Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra, marks the journey of the deities from the Jagannath Temple in Puri to the Gundicha Temple, their birthplace. The Rath Yatra symbolizes the annual visit of Lord Jagannath to his aunt’s house, where he stays for nine days before returning to the main temple.

Devotees from around the world participate in this procession, which takes place in Puri, Odisha, eagerly pulling the chariot of the deity. This festival is celebrated continuously for 10 days, during which the devotees immerse themselves in the fervor and devotion of the Jagannath Rath Yatra 2023.

This special blog by AstroSage will tell you everything about the grand festival of Jagannath Rath Yatra 2023, including its auspicious time and date, along with the answer to a few questions like what is the reason for Lord Jagannath along with his siblings visiting their aunt’s house, and why does he fall sick prior to the Jagannath Rath Yatra? Read this blog to find out the answers to all these questions and some more interesting facts!

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Jagannath Rath Yatra 2023: Date & Time

As we are aware, the Jagannath Rath Yatra is an annual event. Following the Hindu Panchang, the Rath Yatra begins on the Dwitiya tithi of the Shukla Paksha in the month of Ashadha and lasts for ten days. Hence, this year, the Jagannath Rath Yatra 2023 is scheduled to commence on June 20th, 2023, and conclude ten days later. The festival traditionally falls in either June or July each year. Now, let us move forward and explore the auspicious timings for the Jagannath Rath Yatra 2023.

Jagannath Rath Yatra 2023 Muhurta

Start of Dwitiya Tithi: June 19th, 2023, from 11:26 am

End of Dwitiya Tithi: June 20th, 2023, till 1:08 pm

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Significance Of Jagannath Rath Yatra 2023

The Jagannath Rath Yatra holds immense significance as a grand religious festival in Odisha. Its name, “Jagannath,” derives from the combination of “Jagat,” meaning the universe, and “Nath,” meaning “Lord.” Lord Jagannath is revered as the embodiment of Lord Krishna, a prominent incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Accounts of the Rath Yatra can be found in sacred texts like the Narada Purana, Skanda Purana, Brahma Purana, and Padma Purana.

Pulling the chariots during the Jagannath Rath Yatra is believed to be a profound act of devotion, with people considering it as a means to attain absolution from both conscious and unconscious sins. Additionally, the Yatra is believed to alleviate afflictions, difficulties, and sorrows, granting individuals the equivalent rewards of a hundred sacrificial rituals.

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Importance Of Jagannath Rath Yatra 2023

From a religious perspective, the Jagannath Rath Yatra holds immense significance because it is the occasion when Lord Jagannath, along with his sister Subhadra and brother Balabhadra, emerge from the temple once a year to bless their devotees. During this time, even those who cannot see them inside the temple can witness their sacred presence. According to religious beliefs, on this day, Lord Jagannath mounts his chariot and embarks on a journey to the Gundicha Temple, the residence of his aunt, where he reunites with his siblings.

The Gundicha Temple is considered the maternal home of Lord Jagannath, where he and his siblings reside for a week. Throughout this period, the deities receive profound reverence and are showered with affection by their aunt. It is also believed that a variety of delicacies are prepared for Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra, and they relish them with great delight. Subsequently, they fall ill, and a therapeutic diet is offered to restore their well-being.

Only after Lord Jagannath has fully recovered, he grants darshan to his devotees. The process of allowing devotees to have a glimpse of the deities while they reside at their aunt’s house is referred to as “Ardha Darshan” or partial sight.

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Making Of The Chariots Of Jagannath Rath Yatra 2023

During the Jagannath Rath Yatra, the artisans construct the chariots for Lord Jagannath, sister Subhadra, and brother Balarama in a unique way. traditionally, the beginning of selection wood for the chariot construction begins on the day of Basant Panchami, while the actual construction commences on Akshaya Tritiya in the month of Vaishakha, which takes place two months before the Rath Yatra. The chariots are crafted using uninterrupted neem wood, referred to as “Daaru.” Surprisingly, the construction of these three chariots does not involve the use of any metal, nails, or screws.

Among the chariots that participate in the Jagannath Rath Yatra, Balarama’s chariot is given the name “Taladhwaja” and is adorned with red and green colors. Subhadra’s chariot is known as “Darpadalan” or “Padma Rath,” while Lord Jagannath’s chariot is called “Nandighosh” or “Garudadhwaja.” Lord Jagannath’s chariot is painted in red and yellow colors. During the procession of the Rath Yatra, Balarama’s chariot takes the lead, followed by Devi Subhadra’s chariot, with Lord Jagannath’s chariot positioned at the rear.

It is worth noting that among these three chariots, Lord Jagannath’s chariot, “Nandighosh,” boasts the tallest height of 45.6 feet. In contrast, Balarama’s chariot stands at a height of 45 feet, and Subhadra Devi’s chariot measures 44.6 feet in height.

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The Ritual Of Chhar Pahenra

The Chhar Pahenra ritual is observed when the three chariots are fully prepared for the Rath Yatra. During this ritual, the King of Puri sits in a palanquin and heads towards the temple. The chariots receive elaborate worship and ceremonial rites. Following that, the chariot platforms and the path of the Rath Yatra, from where the procession is scheduled to commence, are meticulously cleaned using a golden broom or s “Sone ki Jhaadu.”

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Lord Jagannath Falls Sick Before The Jagannath Rath Yatra

As per traditions, during the preparation for the Rath Yatra, Lord Jagannath receives a ceremonial bath with 108 pitchers approximately 15 days prior, resulting in his illness. Consequently, he takes rest in a designated chamber called the “Osar Ghar” for the duration of 15 days. Only the main temple servants and physicians are allowed to see the deity during this time.

After the completion of the 15-day period, when the Lord recovers and emerges from the chamber to bestow blessings upon his devotees, this event is referred to as the “Nav Yauvan Naitra Utsav” or the Festival of New Youth.

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  1. Wonderful blog. Beautifully detailed everything and it’s significance many of which I was not aware of even being a devotee of the lord. Keep up with the good work with more such historical blogs. With best wishes.

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