Puri: Today Puri Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath will commence. All the preparations have been completed. The entire district administration has imposed a ban on the three-km-long Grand Road between Shree Jagannath Temple to Shree Gundicha Mandir, where all activities, except medical emergencies, will remain prohibited. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, at least 65 squads have been deployed for the smooth conduct of this annual religious event. Each squad consists of 30 soldiers.
Jagannath Puri Dham of Odisha is popular not only in India but all over the world. Especially in this Dham, every year millions of devotees come to visit Lord Jagannath from all across the country. It is believed that pulling a huge chariot of Lord Jagannath during this yatra brings good luck to his devotees. But this year the event has been shortened due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Jagannath Rath Yatra is starting from today and will end on the day of Devshayani Ekadashi on July 20.
Importance of this journey
According to the Hindu calendar, there is a ritual to take out Jagannath Rath Yatra every year on the second date of Shukla Paksha of Ashadh month. It is a religious belief that just a mere glance of this Rath Yatra allows the devotees to be absolved from all sins and they attain salvation after death. The chariot leaves the Jagannath Dham of Puri and travels to Gundicha Bari, 3 km away, where Lord Jagannath rests for 7 days and then returns home on the date of Ekadashi. It is believed that the devotee who pulls the chariot with reverence, gets the results equivalent to that of hundred sacrifices.
History of Rath Yatra
According to the religious belief, Shri Jagannath Puri’s birthday falls on the day of Snan Purnima i.e. Jyeshtha Purnima, On this day Lord Jagannath along with elder brother Balarama and sister Subhadra are taken down from the Ratna throne and taken to the bathing pavilion near the temple. After this, he takes a royal bath with 108 urns. It is also believed that the Lord becomes ill and he gets a fever after the bath. Then the Lord Jagannath is kept in a special room for 15 days. In these 15 days, no one can see him except the chief servants and Vaidyas of the temple. Devotees can see the Lord Jagannath only after 15 days.