Known as the soul of India, Odisha is a land where the mysteries of the past combine with the modernized present to from a harmonious blend. Situated along the Bay of Bengal, it is adorned with awe inspiring monuments, temples and stunning landscapes.
The magnificence of the temples in Odisha is common knowledge, and from the piousness of the people living here is derived the rath yatra.
During the month of June, there is a religious festival that is held at Puri in Odisha. This festival takes place in honour of the abundantly worshipped Jagannath, said to be an incarnation of one of the three main gods, Lord Vishnu.
The Idols of three deities including those of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balbhadra and Godess Subhadra are removed from the Jagannath Temple at Puri and placed in chariots, which are specially built by highly skilled artisans and are ornately decorated. New chariots are made every year and are appealing to the eye with their various colours and decorations.
Thousands of people gather to watch and take part in this magnificent festival. The crowds follow the chariots as they make their way through the city and head towards the bay. For 21 days, these chariots are taken to the bay, left to float in beautiful boats and picked up again.
Ensure you time your visit to Odisha mid-summer so you can witness this remarkable festival. The overwhelming number of people present and the joy they all share in paying homage to their beloved deities will definitely leave you in awe of Puri and the rath Yatra Festival.