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Rath Yatra

Lord Jagannath,Subhadra and Balram Ratha Yatra also referred to as Rathayatra, Rathajatra or Chariot festival is any public procession in a chariot. The term particularly refers to the annual Rathayatra in Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal and other East Indian states, particularly the Odia festival that involve a public procession with a chariot with deities Jagannath (Vishnu avatar), Balabhadra (his brother), Subhadra (his sister) and Sudarshana Chakra (his weapon) on a ratha, a wooden deula-shaped chariot. It attracts over a million Hindu pilgrims who join the procession each year.

Rath Yatra Rathayatra processions have been historically common in Vishnu-related (Jagannath, Rama, Krishna) traditions in Hinduism across India, in Shiva-related traditions, saints and goddesses in Nepal, with Tirthankaras in Jainism, as well as tribal folk religions found in the eastern states of India. Notable ratha yatras in India include the Ratha yatra of Puri, the Dhamrai Ratha Yatra and the Ratha Yatra of Mahesh. Hindu communities outside India, such as in Singapore, celebrate Rathayatra such as those associated with Jagannath, Krishna, Shiva and Mariamman. According to Knut Jacobsen, a Rathayatra has religious origins and meaning, but the events have a major community heritage, social sharing and cultural significance to the organizers and participants.

Ratha-yatra is derived two Sanskrit words, Ratha (रथ) which means chariot or carriage, and yātrā (यात्रा) which means journey or pilgrimage. In other Indian languages such as Odia, the phonetic equivalents are used, such as ratha and jatra. Other names for the festival are ratha jatra or chariot festival.

Rathayatra is a journey in a chariot accompanied by the public. It typically refers to a procession (journey) of deities, people dressed like deities, or simply religious saints and political leaders. The term appears in medieval texts of India such as the Puranas, which mention the Rathayatra of Surya (Sun god), of Devi (Mother goddess), and of Vishnu. These chariot journeys have elaborate celebrations where the individuals or the deities come out of a temple accompanied by the public journeying with them through the Ksetra (region, streets) to another temple or to the river or the sea. Sometimes the festivities include returning to the sacrosanctum of the temple.



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