Rath Yatra 2019: Not only Puri but these temples too celebrate Lord Jagannath’s Festival
Rath Yatra 2019: 7 Lesser Known Temples that Celebrate Lord Jagannath's Chariot Festival
The Rath Yatra of Puri is one of the most incredible spectacles in India. It celebrates the holy trinity of Lord Jagannath, his brother Lord Balabhadra and sister Subhadra as they go for a short visit to their maternal aunt’s place at the Gundicha temple. The siblings ride in three giant wooden chariots that are pulled with ropes by the devout. Devotees from distant places converge in the holy city to pay obeisance to their Lord and his siblings. The chariot festival of the Gods falls during Shukla Paksha of Ashada month every year. The celebration ends nine days later with Bahuda Yatra or the return journey of the three to their temple.
Although Puri steals the focus of Rath Yatra celebrations every year, it is not the only place that organises the chariot festival. There are other, lesser known places, some almost as old as the Puri temple, that organise Jagannath Rath Yatra. Be it The Baripada Temple, The temple at Kendrapada and many other places in and outside Odisha
Here are some of the other temples that celebrate Rath Yatra:
1. Haribaldev temple of Baripada :
The Haribaldev temple of Baripada, is considered to be an auspicious pilgrim site during the Rath Yatra celebrations. This is one of the most special of all Rath Yatra’s as only women are allowed to pull the chariot of Subhadra. Traditional Chau dance performance are another major attraction.
2. Lord Balabhadra Kendrapada:
Around 100 kilometres from Puri, this temple’s presiding deity is Lord Balabhadra. The chariot here is 72 feet tall, effectively much taller than the one in Puri. Although, only Lord Balabhadra’s chariot is pulled here.
3. The Jagannath temple Koraput:
The Jagannath temple is a major attraction at Koraput. The temple was built in the 17th century and reflects ancient styles and architecture. Everybody has free access to this shrine, which virtually demonstrates the very concept of Jagannath consciousness.
4. Jaganath Temple Keonjhar:
Here, the idols are never recreated and the same idols are being worshipped since the temple’s inception. The idol of Subhadra is red in colour.
5. Mahesh Temple:
youtubeThe second oldest Rath Yatra after Puri is the one held at the Mahesh Temple in the small suburb of Serampore in West Bengal’s Hooghly district. The place is the biggest centre of Jagannath worship outside Puri a
6. The Bridabamchandra Temple Guptipara
The Bridabamchandra Temple hoses the idol of Jaganath, Balaram & Subhadra. On the day of the Rath Jatra the idols are carried out by the towering rath (chariot) to another temple known as Masir Bari where it is kept for 7 days. After which the journey is retraced by the rath, known as ulto rath, and the idols are brought back to the Brindabanchandra Temple.
The chariot festival here houses idols that are over 500 years old. The temple was unearthed with condition almost intact in the 1950s. However, when the family that found it saw it difficult to continue with the daily rituals and running of the temple, they handed it over to ISKCON, whose headquarters are located in nearby Mayapur. The chariots from Rajapur travel to the ISKCON headquarters in Mayapur, about 5km away by road, accompanied by a huge procession with devotees playing musical instruments, singing and dancing to hymns.