The Jagannatha Rath Yatra is also popular as Ghosa Jatra, Dasavatara Jatra, Navadina Jatra, or Gundicha Jatra. During this duration of yatra of one to two weeks, the main attractions are the holy yatras of the deities namely Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra.
|Three chariots of the deities with the Temple, Puri|
During the 4th day of the yatra, Hera Panchami is celebrated. This marks the visit of Lord Jagannatha’s wife’s (Goddess Lakshmi) visit to the Gundicha Mata temple to search Lord Jagannatha. After the resting duration of 8 days, the deities return to their main abode from the Gundicha Mata temple. This returning of the deities is marked as Return Yatra or Bahuda Yatra. During the Return Yatra, a halt for a short duration is made at the Mausi Maa temple, devoted to Goddess Ardhashini. Lord Jagannatha goes to sleep for 4 months just before Devshayani Ekadashi, after returning to the main abode.
As this yatra is organized at a huge level, the preparations are already in full swing. The craftsmen, weavers and artisans are busy in making 3 new wooden chariots for the deities. The chariots are designed similarly to that of the respective temples of the God and Goddess. Reaching the height of 45 feet, the chariots are pulled by a rope and the pilgrims consider the pulling of the rope highly lucky for an individual. It is believed that the sight “darshan” of the Lord Jagannatha and touching the chariot brings prosperity in the lives of the worshippers.