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Rath Yatra 2024: Festival Date, History & Significance

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Last Updated:March 14, 2024

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Rath Yatra 2024: Rath Yatra, the great grand chariot festival, is one of the most spectacular events celebrated in many parts of India. This blog post offers a peek into what is in store for Rath Yatra 2024 for the devotees. Devotees have already started marketing their calendars. July 7, 2024, marks the date of Rath Yatra 2024. Devotees of Lord Jagannath are awaiting this day with devotion and joy.

Rath Yatra 2024

Important Information About Rath Yatra 2024

Rath Yatra Tithi

Rath Yatra 2024 will be celebrated on the second lunar day (Dwitiya tithi) as per the Hindu calendar. Devotees will celebrate Rath Yatra on the second day of Shukla paksh of Aashaad month (as per the Hindu calendar). Important details are listed.

Tithi: Dwitiya

Maas/ Month: Aashaad

Paksha: Shukla

Date: July 7, 2024,

Rath Yatra 2024 Budget

It is difficult to ascertain the exact budget for Rath Yatra 2024. However, devotees can idea about the budget for Rath Yatra 2024 by having a look at the budget of previous years.

For the financial year 2023 – 24, the Shri Jagannath Temple Managing Committee approved a total budget of INR 271.07 crores. The budget allocated for Rath Yatra 2023 was INR 16.62 crores. This budget was allocated for rituals related to the Rath Yatra and administrative expenses.

Rath Yatra 2024 History and Significance

Devotees must understand what the term ‘Jagannath Yatra’ means. The term ‘Jagannath Yatra’ literally translates into the chariot procession of the divine. This term is mostly related to the Jagannath Temple in Puri, Odisha.

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There is the great spiritual significance of Jagannath Yatra in the Hindu religion. This festival celebrates the journey undertaken by Lord Jagannath (a form of Lord Krishna), Balbhadra (elder brother of Lord Krishna), and their sister, Devi Subhadra, to their aunt’s temple (named Gundicha temple).

As per the traditions of the Hindu religion, it is believed that the deities have themselves requested this yatra. There is great symbolic significance of Rath Yatra in the Hindu religion. Rath Yatra symbolizes the triumph of good over evil.

The movement of the chariot of the deities symbolizes the victory of good over evil. This festival also symbolizes renewal and change. The journey of the deities to the Gundicha Temple symbolizes a break from the routine and moving towards spiritual rejuvenation.

Thousands of devotees come together to pull the chariots of the deities. This is a clear reflection of the unification power of one of the most celebrated events in Hinduism. The history of Rath Yatra can be traced back to centuries.

It finds mentions in ancient scriptures of Hinduism such as Brahma Puran, Padma Puran, and Skanda Puran. While the exact origin of the yatra remains unclear. Devotees trace the origin of the Rath Yatra to the desire of Lord Jagannath to visit his aunt’s place (Gundicha temple) annually.

Rath Yatra also finds mentions in chronicles of foreign travellers that documented India. For example, Rath Yatra was documented by European travellers as early as the 13th century A.D.

Construction Of Chariots

Construction of chariots for Rath Yatra, especially for the one held in Puri, Odisha, is through a meticulously crafted process. Key aspects of the process have been listed.

Selection of Wood

The first step in the process of construction of the chariots is the selection of specific trees. Construction of chariots is done with specific trees such as dhausa and phassi. It is important that trees selected for the construction of chariots possess auspicious characteristics. Dhausa and Phassi possess auspicious qualities.

Rath Yatra 2024

Artisans

Construction of chariots for Rath yatra is done by skilled artisans. These skilled artisans are also known as Maharanas. They are not only having expertise in the construction of chariots but they also have heredity rights over the process of construction.

They have the ability to meticulously examine the wood to be used for construction. These artisans can give shape to wood to create intricate components such as axles, beams, wheels, and elaborate carvings.

Uniqueness of Chariots

Rath Yatra is one of the most unique festivals celebrated in India and other parts of the world. People of the Vaishnav sect celebrate this grand festival with great joy and sincerity. Mainly three chariots are used in the procession of rath yatra, one each for the deities, that is Lord Krishna, Lord Balbhadra, and Devi Subhadra.

Each chariot used in the Rath Yatra is intricately crafted. Features of the chariot such as colour and clothing signify the deity using the chariot. For example, the chariot of Lord Jagannath is draped in red and yellow clothing. Lord Balbhadra’s chariot is draped in green and red and Devi Subhadra’s chariot is donned by black and red colours.

Nandighosa

Nandighosa is the name given to the chariot of Lord Jagannath. It is the largest among the three chariots. It stands tall at 45 feet. The chariot has eighteen wheels symbolizing the 18 chapters of Bhagwat Gita. It is one of the most intricately designed and decorated chariots (raths) used in the rath yatra.

Taladhwaja

Taladhwaja is the name given to the chariot of Lord Baladhara. The chariot of Lord Balabhadra is slightly shorter than the chariot of Lord Jagannath (Lord Krishna). This chariot is 44 feet tall. It has 16 wheels in comparison to the eighteen wheels in the chariot of Lord Jagannath. Taladhwaja is adorned with a palm tree flag.

Darpadalana

Devi Subhadra’s chariot is also known as Darpadalana. This chariot is slightly smaller than the chariots of Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra. It is 43 feet high and has 14 wheels.

The process of construction of the chariots for the Rath Yatra is time-bound. It takes about 57 days to complete the entire process of construction of chariots. The wood used in the chariots comes from the (ex) princely state of Dasapalla.

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A specialized team transports it before the beginning of the process of construction. Care is taken to ensure that blessings are provided to the entire process of construction of the chariots. Rituals are performed and mantras are chanted throughout the process to ensure auspiciousness.

After the initial process of construction of chariots is completed, chariots for the Rath Yatra are given a final touch with intricate carvings, vibrant paint, and colourful flags. One important point to highlight is that hundreds of helpers and artisans make their contributions in the process of making chariots for the deities.

This is a clear reflection of community participation in the process of construction and also highlights the immense cultural and spiritual significance of Rath Yatra.

It is important to note that the construction of chariots for Rath Yatra is much more than what might meet the eye. It is way beyond normal carpentry. The construction of chariots of rath is a revered tradition that is passed down through the generations.

Route of Rath Yatra 2024

Rath Yatra is a monumental journey undertaken by the deities. The procession goes through only a relatively small distance. The chariots of the deities travel only through a distance of 3 kilometres (1.8 miles).

A journey of 3 kilometres can be covered easily within minutes on normal days. However, millions and millions of devotees of the three deities throng the massive auspicious event of Jagannath Rath Yatra.

Because of the elaborate rituals and massive crowd, it can take more than six hours for the chariots to reach Gundicha temple after starting from Lord Jagannath temple. We have included a detailed breakdown of the route.

Starting Point – Lord Jagannath Temple

The grand journey of the deities, that is, the annual Rath Yatra festival, begins at the Lord Jagannath temple. The deities’ colossal chariots (raths) stand inside the temple complex.

Bada Danda

Starting from the temple complex of Lord Jagannath, the rath yatra procession proceeds eastwards to Bada Danda or Grand Avenue. This route is the arterial route of Puri. Shops are present on both sides of this route. Devotees flock to this route to get a glimpse of the deities.

Melewati Mausimaa Temple

Melewati Mausimaa Temple is an important halt point in the grand annual rath yatra procession. The rath yatra procession can be tiring for the deities. It is important to give them adequate rest.

Devotees believe that the procession is halted so that the deities can take a rest at this location. The priests offer a special dish called Podapitha to the deities. Priests offer this special pancake dish to the deities.

Destination – Gundicha Temple

The ultimate destination of the Rath Yatra procession is the Gundicha temple. The chariots of the deities reach this location after covering a distance of about three kilometres. It usually takes more than five to six hours for this procession to reach the final spot. The deities reside in this temple for nine days.

It is important to note that the exact route of the yatra can vary depending on the circumstances. It can be better to consult local priests and authorities to get a detailed idea about the route and timings of the Rath Yatra.

Bahuda Yatra

The annual Rath Yatra procession completes its journey from the grand Jagannath Puri temple to the Gundicha temple. It takes more than six hours usually to complete this journey. The deities reside in the temple for nine days.

The return journey to the Lord Jagannath temple starts after nine days. People also know this journey as Bahuda Yatra.

Weather Conditions 

The Rath Yatra is an annual event that takes place in the months of June or July. Millions of devotees visit Puri to take part in this grand procession of the deities. Devotees visiting Puri make preparations for the yatra well in advance. They can make their preparations better if they have a general idea about the weather conditions in Puri during the time of Rath Yatra.

Temperature

Temperatures in Puri in the months of June and July usually range between 27 degrees centigrade to 30 degrees centigrade. The weather in the area during this time is mostly pleasant. Devotees visiting Puri for the grand annual Rath Yatra mostly feel comfortable.

Humidity

Level of humidity in Puri during these months are usually high. Humidity level can easily reach 80%. This can create a condition where devotees feel hotter than the actual temperature.

Wind

Devotees can expect Southwesterly winds during this time of the year in Puri. Wind speed can range from 20 – 28 kilometres per hour (12-17 miles per hour).

Rainfall

Most of the regions in this area receive rainfall in the month of July. There are high chances of showers in the month of July. However, the rainfall is usually brief and is not heavy enough to disrupt the procession of the rath yatra.

Dress Code for Rath Yatra 2024

Rath Yatra is one of the most important festivals It is important for the devotees to adhere to a modest and respectful dress code to maintain the sanctity of the occasion. Devotees can keep the following points in mind.

Rath Yatra 2024

Devotees can avoid wearing excessively fancy clothing for this occasion. It is appropriate to not wear revealing clothes for this occasion.

Devotees visiting Puri for Rath Yatra 2024 should consider wearing clothes as per the existing weather conditions. Weather conditions in Juri during the time of Rath Yatra are usually hot and humid. Devotees should consider wearing airy and comfortable fabrics such as linen and cotton.

Some devotees cover their heads as a sign of respect for the deities. Devotees planning to cover their heads should carry a scarf or a dupatta.

Male devotees can wear traditional Indian outfits such as kurta pyjama or dhoti kurta. They can easily purchase these clothes in Puri.

Female devotees can wear traditional clothing such as sarees or salwar suits. It is important to select traditional but comfortable clothing for this grand Vaishnav festival.

Last but not least, it is a common practice in Hinduism to remove footwear near the temple complex before entering. Devotees should prepare themselves to take off their shoes before entering the Lord Jagannath temple or going near the chariots of the deities.

Easy Crowd Management for Devotees

Rath Yatra in Puri attracts massive crowds. Managing the crowds effectively is essential for a safe and enjoyable experience for everybody. Devotees worry about excessive crowds during Rath Yatra. Authorities and management of the temple work in collaboration to ensure a safe and smooth experience for everyone visiting Puri for Rath Yatra 2024. The authorities listed some steps for easy crowd management for the devotees.

Public Awareness Campaigns

Authorities launch public awareness campaigns on local media to educate the attendees about safety measures, precautions, specially designated zones, and restricted areas.

Barricading for Crowd Management

Authorities set up barricades to create designated viewing areas for the devotees along the Yatra procession route. This is beneficial for preventing congestion and controlling crowd movement.

Dedicated Routes

Authorities make preparations for separate routes for pedestrians and vehicles used for emergency purposes such as ambulances and fire department vehicles. We create dedicated routes to minimize disruptions and ensure quick response in the case of emergencies.

Staggered Entry

Authorities implement a staggered entry system at the starting point of the yatra. The yatra starts at Lord Jagannath temple. At this time, the temple complex only allows a limited number of devotees inside.

Additional Points About Rath Yatra 2024

People celebrate Rath Yatra with joy and devotion. Annually, Hindus celebrate it in the month of Ashada. People visiting Puri for the Rath Yatra can embrace the festive spirit by wearing vibrant colours.

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Devotees can also wear accessories and jewellery that are suitable for the occasion. Devotees can play safe by wearing sober and respectful jewellery for the festival.

It is important to remember that Rath Yatra 2024 is a devotional festival. The main focus is to celebrate and worship the deities. Devotees can demonstrate respect for the traditions and local culture by dressing modestly for the occasion.

By following the guidelines mentioned here on 99Pandit, devotees can easily have a respectful and comfortable experience during Rath Yatra 2024 celebrations.

Final Thoughts

As July 7 draws near, the sleepy town of Puri will soon awaken with the buzz of activities marking the preparations for Rath Yatra 2024. As artisans give a finishing touch to the grand chariots of the deities, the air in Puri will hum with the sweet scent of fresh paint.

It is a time for the devotees to prepare themselves to immerse themselves in the electrifying atmosphere. Devotees await this annual festival when they feel the energy surge as devotional chants erupt. Rath Yatra 2024 will draw crowds from many areas of India.

Visitors from foreign countries such as the UK, U.S.A, and Australia might also throng the streets of Puri during Rath Yatra 2024. Rath Yatra 2024 will be a spectacle unlike any other. Lakhs of devotees dressed in vibrant colours will converge at the Lord Jagannath temple.

Joyous chants of the devotees will converge with the rhythmic beat of drums. Rath Yatra 2024 will be a great time to witness the unwavering devotion of the devotees as they assemble near the grand chariots of the deities.

Rath Yatra 2024 is more than just a procession. It is a testament to history, community spirit, and devotion. Devotees get a chance to connect with the rich cultural heritage and experience the warmth of a united community.

They also get a chance to experience the uplifting power of faith. Rath Yatra 2024 promises an unforgettable experience for the devotees. Mark your calendar, embrace the festive spirit, and get ready to feel the magic of this extraordinary festival. Let Rath Yatra 2024 enlighten your being. Visit Puri to create memories of a lifetime.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.What is Rath Yatra 2024?

A.Rath Yatra is one of the most important festivals in the Hindu religion. Devotees celebrate Rath Yatra to mark the grand journey of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balbhadra, and Devi Subhadra from the Lord Jagannath temple to Gundicha temple in Puri.

Q.Where to find information about Rath Yatra 2024?

A.Devotees can find all the important information for Rath Yatra 2024 on 99Pandit. They can also visit the website or application of 99Pandit to book pandit ji for pujas such as Surya Shani Shapit Dosha Puja, Revati Nakshatra Shanti Puja, and Jyeshtha Nakshatra Shanti Puja.

Q.When will Rath Yatra 2024 be held?

A.Rath Yatra 2024 will be held on July 7, 2024. Devotees will celebrate Rath Yatra 2024 on dwitiya tithi of Aashad month of the Hindu calendar.

Q.Where will Rath Yatra 2024 be held?

A.Rath Yatra 2024 will be held in the temple town of Puri. Puri is one of the most important locations in Odisha.

Q.What is the timing for Rath Yatra 2024?

A.Rath Yatra 2024 will start in the morning hours of July 7, 2024. It usually takes more than five to six hours to complete the 3 kilometres journey from Lord Jagannath temple to Gundicha temple.

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