Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra 2012
Rath Yatra in Puri Date: 21 June 2012
Venue : Puri, Orissa
Country : India
Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra Tour 2012 - India
Jagannath Temple in Puri in India is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Jagannath (Krishna) and located in the coastal town of Puri in the state of Orissa, India. The name Jagannath means Lord of the Universe,it comes from the Sanskrit words Jagat (Universe) and Nath (Lord of). Every year there is a festival called Ratha Yatra , in which the three main temple deities are hauled on huge and elaborately decorated chariots. The celebrated Temple of Lord Jagannath now existent at Puri was constructed by Raja Ananta Varman Chodaganga Dev in 12th century A.D.
If you've ever wondered what a juggernaut actually looks like, this is where you can see it- in the great annual rath yatra (often referred to, rather prosaically, as the (Car Festival) of Lord Jagannath in Orissa. The venue for the festival is the town of Puri, famed for its temple to Lord Jagannath, as Krishna is known in this part of the country. For the rath yatra, three huge chariots- each with about a dozen wheels up to 7 feet in diameter- are ritually pulled through the streets, from the Jagannath temple to the temple of Gundicha Mandir. The raths are replicas of the Jagannath temple and each of them carries an idol - of Jagannath, of his brother Balbhadra and his sister Subhadra - to Gundicha Mandir, where they stay for a week before being taken back, again in the raths, to the Jagannath Temple.
The entire journey- back and forth- is accompanied by thousands of pilgrims, many of whom (in previous years, but fortunately no longer) threw themselves under the wheels of the 'juggernaut' in their fervour. Today, the days for the yatra are holidays, when all of Puri becomes one huge fairground and temple rolled into one.