Puri Rath Yatra: A Sacred Journey from Chariot to Mahaprasad

Among all Rath Yatras, the Puri Rath Yatra stands as the most famous, steeped in tradition and spiritual significance.

Shroddha Bhattacharyya
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By a staff reporter: Every year, on the second tithi of Shuklapaksha in the month of July, an auspicious event unfolds in Puri, Odisha. This event is none other than the revered Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath, accompanied by his sister Subhadra and brother Balabhadra. They embark on a grand journey to their aunt's abode in three magnificent chariots, a spectacle that captivates millions of devotees worldwide.


Among all Rath Yatras, the Puri Rath Yatra stands as the most famous, steeped in tradition and spiritual significance. It is believed that merely touching the rope of the chariot absolves one of all sins, drawing pilgrims from far and wide to partake in this sacred ritual.

पुरी के जगन्नाथ मंदिर के प्रसाद को क्यों कहा जाता है महाप्रसाद! क्या है  इसकी खासियत? | पुरी के जगन्नाथ मंदिर के भोग को क्यों कहा जाता है ...

The elaborate preparations for this grand procession are awe-inspiring. The massive chariots, intricately designed and constructed anew each year, symbolize the divine journey undertaken by the deities. Skilled artisans and carpenters devote months to crafting these chariots from specially selected wood, ensuring they are sturdy yet majestic. However, what happens to this wood once the Rath Yatra concludes? According to tradition spanning many centuries, the wood from these three chariots is carefully repurposed for a sacred purpose: preparing the Mahaprasad of the Jagannath Temple. This Mahaprasad, considered highly sanctified, is offered to the deities and then distributed among devotees as a divine blessing. Moreover, the wheels of the chariots, symbolizing the chariots themselves, hold special significance. Devotees eagerly await the opportunity to obtain a piece of this sanctified relic, often exchanging money in a tradition known as 'Chhera Pahanra'. This act is not just a transaction but a deeply spiritual gesture, symbolizing devotion and a connection with the divine. Thus, beyond the grandeur and spectacle of the Rath Yatra lies a profound cycle of devotion and spiritual renewal. The journey of the chariots mirrors the eternal journey of faith, and the utilization of their wood for sacred purposes embodies the continuity of tradition and reverence for Lord Jagannath. In this way, the Rath Yatra of Puri transcends mere celebration to become a timeless expression of devotion and spiritual enrichment for millions around the world.