Jagannath Rath Yatra in Puri: Photo Story

Millions try to pull the chariot, as it is believed it leads them straight to heaven
Image courtesy: ©Abhishek Hajela

Every year as the monsoon season arrives thousands of devotees start their religious journey from all over the country – small villages, mid-sized towns and the urban centres – to the town of Puri in Odisha. The air is thick with devotional frenzy and the excitement is palpable as it’s time for the grand festival – the annual celebration of the Rath Yatra. This year it is falling on 14th July (Saturday).

This festival is dedicated to the Jagannath triad: brothers Jagannath (Krishna) and Balabhadra (Balarama), and sister Subhadra. Immense chariots containing Lord Jagannath, Balbhadra and Subhadra are hauled from Jagannath Temple to Gundicha Mandir, their holiday home.

It is difficult to fathom the magnitude of the festival as millions congregate to catch a glimpse of the deities as they come out for their yearly ride. Puri Rath Yatra attracts more than one million pilgrims every year and to photograph this major festival, is thrilling. Catch a glimpse of the festival in colourful pictures.

Also Read: Top attractions in Puri

Also Read: Festivals of the months: July-August 2018

 

A team of priests struggles to place the deity in the Chariot
A team of priests struggles to place the deity in the Chariot
Image courtesy: ©Abhishek Hajela
Celebrations before the chariot begins to move
Celebrations before the chariot begins to move
Image courtesy: ©Abhishek Hajela
The crowd celebrates as the journey begins.
The crowd celebrates as the journey begins.
Image courtesy: ©Abhishek Hajela
The first chariot starts the journey
The first chariot starts the journey
Image courtesy: ©Abhishek Hajela
Priests celebrate with dance and sing to the loud hypnotic beats of cymbals
Priests celebrate with dance and sing to the loud hypnotic beats of cymbals
Image courtesy: ©Abhishek Hajela
Devotees seek blessings by touching the chariots
Devotees seek blessings by touching the chariots
Image courtesy: ©Abhishek Hajela
Fire Brigade cools down the crowd as temperature and humidity rises
Fire Brigade cools down the crowd as temperature and humidity rises
Image courtesy: ©Abhishek Hajela

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