The significance of Rath Yatra/ Car festival of Odisha
July 1, 2022 8:08am CST
Today India celebrates Rath Yatra/ Car Festival in Odisha state as well as the whole of India. The festival originated in Puri, Odisha where queen Gundicha had the thee then queen had Puri had placed the idol on Lord Jagannath in Gundicha Temple and worshiped him there. The legend goes that Lord Jagannath came in the dreams of the king of Puri and ordered him to build the Jagannath temple and worship him there. Thus the Jagannath Temple was build and Lord Jagannath, Balram and Devi Subhadra idols were placed there and they were worshiped. Only on this day of Rath Yatra, Lord Jagannath visits the Gundicha temple as he had promised the queen in her dreams that he would be visiting her every year on this day. The three deities will stay in the Gundicha temple for 7 days and will return to the Jagannath temple on the 8th day. Prayers and delicacies as offerings will be offered to them at the Gundicha temple for 7 days. The special cooks of Jagannath temple will be cooking the delicacies for the three deities. They are treated as the guest of the queen and serve them just as we treat guests. I had the opportunity of watching the Rath Yatra in the 90s as my in-laws stay close to the 'Grand Road ' where the Raths are prepared and pulled along the deities. I loved watching it from our terrace with devotees dancing along with the devotional songs of Lord Jagannath on the three chariots. Have a blessed day my friends.
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