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Today I have been to Rath Yara at Puri. I witness the world famous Rath yatra and the one million devotees of Lord Jagganath thronging to see their Lord
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Ratha Yatra is a major Hindu festival associated with Lord Jagannath held at Puri in the state of Orissa, India during the months of June or July (Rainy Season). Most of the city's society is based around the worship of Jagannath (Krishna) with the ancient temple being the fulcrum of the area. The festival commemorates Krishna's return to His home in Vrindavan after a long period of separation from the people there.

Usually the deities - Jagannath (Krishna), Baladeva and Subhadra are worshipped within the temple, but on the day of the Rath festival they are taken through the streets so that everyone can have the fortune of seeing them. Three richly decorated chariots, resembling temple structures, are pulled through the streets of Puri. This commemorates the annual journey of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and their sister Subhadra to their aunt' s temple (Gundicha Mandir) which is situated at a distance of 2 km from their temple. New chariots are built every year.
During the festival, devotees from all over India go to Puri with an earnest desire to touch the rope of the chariot. They consider this a pious deed and risk their lives in the huge crowd. The huge processions accompanying the chariots play devotional songs with drums, tambourines, etc. Children line the streets through which the chariot will pass and add to the mass chorus. The Rath carts themselves are some approximately 45 feet high and are pulled by the thousands of pilgrims who turn up for the event. Millions of devotees congregate at Puri for this annual event from all over the country and abroad. It is also telecasted live on many Indian channels. ( Wikipedia)

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Additional Photos by Radeeh Ramesan (RADEEH) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 488 W: 15 N: 737] (2802)
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