New Delhi: The much-awaited Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath has commenced on June 23, 2020. The 15-day long festival holds utmost importance in Odisha which attracts many visitors, especially to witness the majestic chariot festival. However, due to the deadly novel coronavirus pandemic, the Supreme Court on Monday (June 22) ordered that the Rath Yatra be conducted but 'with no public attendance' during the procession.
Several celebrities and netizens extended greetings. The Nightingale of India, Lata Mangeshkar, actress Nandana Sen and Bhojpuri actress Aamrapali Dubey amongst several others wished 'Jai Jagannath' to fans online. Take a look:
Namaskar. Bhagwan Jagannath ji ke charanon mein mere koti koti naman. pic.twitter.com/lwl09Zl4ZX
— Lata Mangeshkar (@mangeshkarlata) June 23, 2020
— Sudarsan Pattnaik (@sudarsansand) June 23, 2020
I‘m remembering how we decorated our wooden chariots w Ma & pulled them down our rd, how excited we’d be abt the grt fair, Rath-er Mela. Ma was the 1 who looked fwd to it the most, like a little girl. Here’s her poem, translated by me.
Shubho #Rathayatra , Ma pic.twitter.com/2ET1bsVcnr
— Nandana Sen (@nandanadevsen) June 23, 2020
May prabhu bless us all with good health and prosperity pic.twitter.com/D7oh2Rs05I
— Dipika Chikhlia Topiwala (@ChikhliaDipika) June 23, 2020
The famous Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra is also known as the Chariot Festival. It remains one of the most important festivals in the country and Odisha attracts millions of devotees thronging the annual chariot procession just to get one glimpse of the Lord.
The Rath Yatra happens to be a 15-day long festival. It commences on Dwitiya Tithi during Shukla Paksha of Ashada month which happens to fall on June 23 this year.
The Rath Yatra or journey of the chariots has a huge religious significance. During the month of Asadha in June or July, the presiding deities of Lord Jagannath, brother Balabhadra, and sister Subhadra are taken from their Puri temple to Bada Danda and complete the distance of almost 3 km to Shri Gundicha Temple on huge chariots.
While the deities travel on chariots driven by many people, devotees and onlookers pay their obeisance and seek the darshan of the Lord for blessings. The Rath Yatra is also known as the Shri Gundicha Yatra.
The chariots are huge in size, with Lord Jagannath's chariot being approximate of 45ft high, 35ft sq and takes around 2 months to get prepared. The festival happens to be the main attraction of Odisha attracting several tourists every year.
Here's wishing our readers a very Happy Rath Yatra!