Thursday, 21 June 2012

Rath Yatra – The procession is about to begin!!!


Jaganath Rath YatraAny festival or celebration connected to a temple has its own purity and magnificence. The atmosphere turns spiritual and powerful. The prayers from the devotees and the presence of deities add a different zing to the ambiance. Such an auspicious occasion is the famous Rath Yatra in Puri, Orissa.
Rath YatraFamous for the Lord Jagannath Temple, Puri is crowded with devotees during the Rath Yatra that is conducted annually. The chariots of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and his sister Subhadra is taken out in grandeur towards the Gundicha temple. After a brief period of 9 days, the chariots are taken back after performing poojas and rituals. The chariots are bejeweled, poojaris pulling them also are dressed for the occasion and the surroundings are also decorated well.
The Rath of Lord Balabhadra is blue in color and is the first to be taken out. It is followed by that of Subhadra’s chariot which is black in color. Then comes the Rath of Lord Jagannatha, yellow in color.
King at Rath YatraBeing part of the whole celebrations is considered to be extremely lucky and auspicious for a person to achieve in his lifetime. Even touching the ropes of chariot is considered good. It is believed that if a person can see all the chariots moving towards the southern side, the person achieves salvation. The significance of the festival lies in commemorating the triumph of good over evil when Lord Krishna killed Kamsa in Mathura and stood on his chariot receiving people’s compliments and wishes.
On the very day of Rath yatra, which usually occurs during the full moon phase of June or July, the devotees perform Puja at their homes early in the morning and then leave to the Jagannath temple where the chariots are arranged and decorated in majesty. The king arrives on the elephant and then the chariot is sprinkled with scented water. Later on the idols are brought to the chariot by the king or the Pujari and then the procession starts. The whole concept of carrying the Lord by the people also represents humanization of God. It is to symbolize that God is a part of human race.
God and GoddessPuri, the place where the Rath Yatra is conducted has immense significance in the Hindu culture. It is one of the ‘char dhams’ or spiritual destinations that a devotee has to visit to attain salvation in their lifetime. The local handicrafts in Puri are quite famous for their authenticity and novel designs. Apart from having a beautiful beach, the city also is famous for its culture and tradition. There are theatres, museums and libraries if you are interested in those.
The essence of any place can be enjoyed by being with the locals. I always try to stay in homestays so that I get to understand the nuances of the rituals, the grand ma’s tales about the place or the exquisite eateries hidden in the by lanes. One trusted site for finding the most authentic homestays in India isThe Other Home. They strive to give customer best experience and put  every possible effort  in  selection of  best accommodation. Also The Other home can assist in designing the excellent customized travel package to explore the exquisite culture and eternal beauty.  So this year make a visit to Puri, enjoy the spiritual solitude, frolic in the beach and come out rejuvenated.
For more information on your stay and travel, please contact The Other Home at info@theotherhome.com.

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