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Ratha Yatra

Ratha Yatra

The Most Colorful and Joyful Hindu Festival: Ratha Yatra

The Ratha Yatra, also known as the Chariot Festival, is one of the most popular and auspicious Hindu festivals. It is celebrated in honor of Lord Jagannath, the Supreme Being, and his siblings, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra. The festival falls on the second day of the bright half of the lunar month of Ashada (July-August) and lasts for ten days. On the festival’s first day, the three deities are taken in a procession to the Gundicha Temple, where they reside for nine days. On the tenth day, they are brought back to the main temple in a grand caravan, the Ratha Yatra.

The Evolution of Ratha Yatra Over the Years

The Ratha Yatra, also known as the “Chariot Festival” or ‘Festival of the Chariots, is an annual event celebrated in many parts of India. It is a Hindu religious festival commemorating Lord Jagannath’s annual visit to his sister’s temple at Gundicha Ghar. Ratha Yatra is a very ancient festival whose origins can be traced back to the Puranic texts. The first recorded Ratha Yatra was held in the year 446 BCE, and it has been held annually ever since. The festival has undergone many changes over the years, and it is now celebrated in a very different way from how it was initially observed.

In the past, Ratha Yatra was a grand procession of chariots, elephants, and horses that would wind its way through the streets of Puri. The temple’s chief priest would lead the procession, which would take several hours to complete. Nowadays, the spectacle is much shorter, and it is undertaken chiefly on foot.

The Significance of Ratha Yatra

The festival commemorates the annual journey of Lord Jagannath from his temple in Puri, Odisha, to his summer home in Gundicha Temple. The journey is known as the Ratha Yatra, or Chariot Festival, and is a symbolic representation of Lord Jagannatha’s journey through the universe. The festival is a joyous occasion and is celebrated with much fanfare. Devotees pull the chariots of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Goddess Subhadra through the streets of Puri. The procession is accompanied by music and chanting, and the atmosphere is one of festivity and celebration. The Ratha Yatra is a significant Hindu festival celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion. It is a time to remember and worship Lord Jagannath and celebrate his journey through the universe.

Five ways to make your Ratha Yatra celebration unique

  1. Make a special effort to invite first-time attendees. Ratha Yatra is a unique event that is not well known, so spreading the word about it is essential. First-time attendees will be impressed by the unique atmosphere and may be more likely to return next year.
  2. Emphasize the spiritual aspects of the festival. Rathayatra is not just a parade. It is a holy carnival with profound significance. Please encourage your guests to learn about the history and symbolism of the event and to reflect on its spiritual significance.
  3. Create a festive atmosphere. Ratha Yatra is a joyful event, so ensure your celebration reflects that. Decorate your venue with colorful banners and lights, and play traditional music to get everyone in the spirit.
  4. Serve traditional food. Another way to make your Ratha Yatra celebration unique is to serve traditional Indian food. This will give your guests a taste of the culture and add to the festive atmosphere.
  5. Invite special guests. If you know anyone who has been to India for Ratha Yatra before or has exceptional knowledge of the event, invite them to share their insights with your guests.


The Ratha Yatra is a joyous occasion marked by colourful processions, devotional singing, and feasting. All Hindus have to unite and celebrate their faith.

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