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The Jagannath Rath Yatra is scheduled to commence from 20th June 2023.
Here are some important points about this significant event:-
- The Ratha Yatra of Puri, also known as Ratha Jatra, is the oldest and largest Hindu chariot festival.
- It is an annual celebration of Lord Jagannath and his siblings during the bright half of the lunar month of Ashadh (June-July).
- This ancient tradition of a grand chariot procession is held with great joy and splendor in Odisha and Ahmedabad.
- The enchanting sounds of conch shells, synchronized music of drums and bells, and the uplifting chants mark the moment when the deity is brought out of the temple.
- Lord Jagannath, the incarnation of Lord Krishna, resides in the temple town of Puri along the Bay of Bengal in Bhubaneswar, Orissa.
- According to a popular legend, Lord Jagannath desires to visit his birthplace, Mathura, once every year along with his brother, Lord Balabhadra, and sister, Goddess Subhadra, on a chariot.
- This journey from the Jagannath Temple in Puri to Gundichi Devi Temple in Mathura is known as the Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra.
- Each year, on the second day of the new moon in the month of Ashada (June-July) according to the Hindu calendar, the three deities are carried on chariots a few miles away to the Gundicha Temple.
Mysterious facts related to the Rath Yatra:-
- Waving Against the Wind: The flag on the top of the Jagannath temple sometimes flies in the opposite direction of the wind. This phenomenon, known as Karman Vortex Street in fluid dynamics, is attributed to eddies formed by sea winds near the top of the temple.
- Nilachakra: The 20-feet tall chakra installed at the temple’s pinnacle 2000 years ago remains a mystery in terms of its installation and the energy required to lift it atop a 45-storey building.
- No Sound of Sea: Legends say that Lord Hanuman protects the temple, blocking the sound of the ocean, allowing Lord Jagannath to sleep without disturbance. Scientifically, the temple’s closed structure and tall stone walls prevent outside noises, including the sound of sea waves, from being heard inside.
- No Fly Zone: Birds and planes are rarely seen flying above the temple. The cylindrical structure of the building and atmospheric conditions near the sea could explain this phenomenon. Additionally, the airspace above the temple is designated as a ‘No Fly Zone.’
- No Shadow: Due to the architectural design, the grand temple of Jagannath Puri doesn’t cast a visible shadow, regardless of the time of day or weather conditions.
- No Wastage Policy: Despite serving thousands of devotees daily, the temple ensures that none of the individuals goes without receiving prasadam (sacred food) made from a special rice called ‘Amunia.’
- Magical Pot: The Mahaprasad at Jagannath temple is cooked in seven clay pots stacked one over the other. The prasad in the top pot gets cooked first due to the difference in pressure, which follows the principle of the boiling point of liquids and pressure.
- Wooden Idols: During Nabakalebara, new wooden idols of the deities replace the old ones. This ritual is performed every 8, 12, or 19 years, and specific sacred neem trees are used to carve out the new idols.