Other Rath Yatras
It is a fact known to many of us that besides the Puri Rath Yatra there are other Yatras too which are performed in the country and even outside. Some other famous Yatras are listed here.
The Rath Yatra of Ahmedabad stands next to the Puri festival in grandeur and crowd-pulling. Nowadays, there are not just the thousands of people who participate in the Ahmedabad event, there are also communication satellites which the police use under the global positioning system to chart the course of the chariots on a map on the computer screen to monitor them from a control room. This is because Ahmedabad Rath Yatra has a bloody record. The last violent Rath Yatra which the city saw was in 1992, when the city suddenly became surcharged with communal riots.
The Rath Yatra of Mahesh in the Hoogly district of West Bengal is also of historical repute. This is not only because it's the grandest and the oldest Rath Yatras in Bengal, but because of huge congregation it manages to attract. The Mahesh Rath Yatra of 1875 is of special historical significance: A young girl was lost in the fair and amongst many, the district magistrate Bankim Chandra Chattopadhya — the great Bengali poet and author of India's National song — himself went out to search for the girl. A couple of months later this incident inspired him to write the famous novel Radharani.
Rath Yatra is a great festival because of its ability to unite people in its festivity. Muslim residents of Narayanpur, a village of about a thousand families in the Subarnapur district of Orissa, regularly take part in the festival, from building the chariots to pulling the rath.
The 415-year-old Rath Yatra in Baripada has many special attractions besides being considered second only to the Puri Rath Yatra in importance.
At the Baripada Ratha Yatra the women pull their very own chariot - the rath of Goddess Subhadra. The Baripada festival had gained the glory of being a gender specific event in 1975 coinciding with the International Women's Year celebration.
In the national capital, thousands of people, chanting praises to the three deities, participate in the Rath Yatras every year. A large number of people gather at the procession from the Jagannath temple at Hauz Khas near the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in South Delhi.
Hundreds of others also join a similar procession from Lord Jagannath and Badri Nath temple through the congested Old Delhi.
Rath Jatra (KANG) or car festival is celebrated for 10 (ten) days in the month of June/July. It is one of the greatest festivals of Hindus of Manipur. Lord Jagannath leaves his temple in a Rath known as "Kang" pulled by pilgrims who vie for the honour.
Major International Rath Yatra Centres
· Fremont Hindu Temple, Nebraska
· Dallas, Texas
· Chicago, Illinois
· New York, NY
· Washington DC
· Jagannath Rath Yatra at ISKON