July is a very colourful month, if we take into account the vivid Puri Rath Yatra festival organized during this time of the year. This year, it falls on the 18th of July and rest assured, it’s going to be a festival of one of its kind. Popularly known as the Rath Yatra or Car Festival, it is the most important festival of Lord Jagannath and draws millions of devotees from around the country and different parts of the world.
This colourful festival is the event when Lord Jagannath is believed to come out of his sanctorum to give darshan to his devotees. It is also believed that those who take part in this festival are known to earn their passage to Heaven. This festival begins on the day of Snana Purnima when the three deities, Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra take a prolonged bath. Post this bath, the deities retire for a period of fifteen days and remain in isolation and no public worship is performed during this time.
After the fifteen days of isolation are over, the Gods come out of their sanctorum in a colourful procession on their chariots and thus begins the Rath Yatra. It generally starts in the monsoon, and the thundering chariots amidst the rains are a sight to behold and an experience of a lifetime. In terms of gaiety and colour, we cannot imagine Rath Yatra being second to any other festival. It is celebrated on the second day of the bright fortnight of Ashadha.
The sacred journey of the Gods is highly revered by the masses but the highlight of this festival is undoubtedly the stupendous and gorgeous chariots which will take your breath away. These splendid chariots are made every year as per century old styles and specifications. In terms of splendour, devotion, grandeur and liveliness, it is one of the grandest and most memorable spectacles of India. So, if you can, then do book your tickets and go visit this amazing festival this monsoon!