New Delhi: The world famous chariot festival of the eastern holy state of India - Odisha - commenced on 6th July in the city of Puri amid tight security. This marks the 139th Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath.
Hailed to be one of the major religious festivals of Odisha, Rath Yatra is dedicated to Lord Jagannath and his siblings – Balabhadra and Subhadra. On this day, the holy lord comes out of his sanctum sanctorum and pays a visit to his aunt. Every year, lakhs of devotees from around the world throng in to take part in what is believed to be one of the holiest events in India.
While many know a lot about the famous festival, only few know about the myriad interesting facts about the Rath Yatra.
Read on to take a look at various intriguing facts about the festival!
Passage to heaven
It is believed that if you be a part of the Rath Yatra – you will earn your passage to heaven. The event and place is considered so holy and pious that thousands of devotees are blessed by the Lord when he comes out of his sanctorum.
The temple flag
Interestingly, the flag of the temple always flows in the opposite direction of the breeze! This is a fact and no one knows the scientific reason behind it. People say, it's the wish of the Lord to blow the flag in whatever direction he wants!
It always rains on Rath Yatra:
Such is the power of the Lord that every year, no matter what – it rains on Rath Yatra in Puri. Even when the monsoon hasn't arrived, it is bound to rain during Rath Yatra. People believe that it is Lord Jagannath who decides upon the rainfalls!
The chariot doesn't move initially!
According to a legend, the chariots do not make a move until it is pulled by thousands of devotees after a lot of efforts. It is believed that Lord Jagannath doesn't wish to make a move towards his aunt's place, and therefore needs a heavy push initially.
The prasad never goes wasted!
The mahaprasad made inside the premises of the temple is considered very sacred and is consumed by thousands of devotees every day. However, no one knows just as how, even if the number of takers go far below expected, why the prasad never gets wasted!
There is an interesting story behind the wood of the chariots. Every year, a new set of chariots are made out of new wood.
Lord suffers from high fever
It is believed that Lord Jagannath suffers from fever before the Rath Yatra begins. This is the reason why devotees are not allowed to enter the temple during this time. After the completion of seven days though, Lord Jagannath makes a move towards his aunt's place!
If you observe, the Sudarshana Chakra on top of the temple will always seem to be facing you. No matter where you stand in the city, the disc of the Chakra will always appear in its whole circular pattern to your eyes.