Ratha Yatra a Celebration for the Lord of the Universe ~ Kwentology

WHEN: During the Hindu Month of Asadha (End of June or Early July)

Each June, hundreds of thousands of Hindu pilgrims visit Puri (Poor-ee), a city on the east coast of India, to celebrate Ratha Yatra. The festival honors the god Jagannath (Juhg-uh-nawt), Lord of the Universe. Worshipers place wooden images of Jagannath, along with his sister and brother, onto three huge chariots and pull the images through Puri's streets. Brightly decorated elephants, trucks crammed with riders, and pilgrims on foot join the procession.

Image of Chariot Temples

The chariots, called raths, look like miniature temples. Jagannath's chariot is 45 feet high and has 16 wheels, each one is seven feet in diameter. About 1,000 people pull each cart.

Image of Wooden Images of Jagannath with Siblings

Pilgrims placed wooden images of the three gods inside a smaller version of the chariots.

The chariots are pulled from one temple to another where they remain for about a week before being returned to their original home. Though Ratha Yatra festivals take place throughout India, the one in Puri is the largest.

Ratha Yatra Kwentologist Factoid

Each year, new chariots are built. Only wood from a certain type of tree can be used.
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