Top 7 Interesting Things about Rath Yatra

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Top 7 Interesting Things about Rath Yatra

The Ratha Yatra in Puri in Odisha is India’s largest chariot festival. This festival is considered quite an elegant festival in more than one way. It has become a symbol of identity for Puri and Odisha state as a whole. Every year, thousands and lakhs of devotees worldwide assemble at Puri to become a part of this holy festival.

The festival is an 11-day long festival. The priests of Sri Mandir carry the idols of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Ma Subhadra in a Rath to their aunt Gundicha Ma’s temple, and they return after a period of nine days. The Puri Rath Yatra is one of the oldest yatras in the world and is responsible for significantly increasing Odisha tourism. You can even find mention of this festival in the ancient Hindu texts that are the Puranas.

Today, people celebrate this festival at an international level across 108 cities, including New York, London, Moscow, Paris, Rome, Kuala Lumpur etc., plus the Indian cities of Kolkata and Mumbai. This is exactly why the Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra should be on your must-do at least once in a lifetime bucket list.

Now, to understand the hype about the festival, let us dive deep into this procession:

  • Every year, many carpenters make three separate chariots made up of Neem tree for Lord Jagannath (ruler of the world), his elder brother Balbhadra (Balaram) and his sister Subhadra. The carpenter cannot use any other wood other than neem to make these grand chariots. This happens to be one of the most interesting facts about the chariot of Lord Jagannath and its uniqueness in Odisha culture.
  • The highest chariot, called Garudadhwaja or Kapiladhwaja, is made for Lord Jagannath and has a height of 44 feet. It is made of a total of 16 wheels, and the carpenter decorates it primarily in red and yellow colour. The height of Balaram’s chariot, known as Taladhwaja or Langaladhwaja, is 43 feet tall and features 14 wheels. It is primarily in red and bluish-green colour. Ma Subhadra’s chariot, called Darpadalana or Padmadhwaja, is 42 feet tall and made of 12 wheels. It is decorated primarily in red and black.
  • Pahandi is the term devotees use to denote the ritual of bringing the idols of Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra out of the temple and installing them in their respective chariots. Before the Rath Yatra commences, the priests bathe the idols of the Lords with 109 buckets of water on an auspicious day known as ‘Snana Purnima ‘.
  • ‘Chera Pahara ‘is a ritual involving a procession in which the King of Puri cleans the road with water scented with sandalwood paste and a golden-handled broom.
  • Thousands of carpenters and engineers built a temple called Gundicha temple in the memory of the famous Queen of King Indradyumna, who built the iconic Puri Temple. The famous Rath Yatra starts from the Jagannath temple in Puri and ends at Gundicha temple.
  • On the fourth day of the procession, Goddess Laxmi, the wife of Lord Jagannath, comes to visit her husband in the Gundicha temple.
  • All the deities begin their return journey on the 10th day of Ashada Shukla Paksha. This ritual is known as ‘Bahuda ‘or ‘Dakshinabimukhi ‘. Before the Lords return to their places, they pay obeisance to the Goddess Ardhashini’s temple.

These are some of the interesting things about Rath Yatra that speak volumes about the  Odisha culture.


Irrespective of who they are, every Lord Krishna devotee has expressed interest in the Rath Yatra. The pulling of the cart is a symbol of clearing the mind and surrendering to the Supreme. Every year, thousands and lakhs of Hindu pilgrims go to the Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra, as it is one of the most important annual events in Hinduism to witness the glory of the Lord of the Universe.

Are you looking to buy paintings based on Rath Yatra? Art Minakhi is your answer. Here we celebrate the connection of the Divine power and reinforce it via different art forms. We sell a wide range of handmade art made with watercolours, oil colours, acrylic colours and fabric colours on canvas and cloth. We try to bridge the tropical world with thought leaders through our work, thus bringing ecological sustainability to the forefront. Our skilled artisans are equipped with years of experience, and thus we produce abstract paintings, clay paintings, and many more. You can check all our items by our talented artisans and artists at For any query, you can call us at 8984374826 or email at

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