Ulta Rath Yatra: Devotees Celebrate the return of the Trinity to their Abode

Ulta Rath Yatra
During Ulta Rath Yatra in Kolkata. Wikimedia

New Delhi, July 3, 2017: The Chariots of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra returned to their abode on Monday, after a stay of eight days in the Gundicha temple of Puri, marking the annual festival of Chariots which is held at Puri in Odisha. This return journey of the sibling deities is called Bahuda Yatra and is also known as Ulta Rath Yatra or Ulto Rath Yatra.

As a part of Rath Yatra, the deities of Jagannath, his elder brother Balabhadra and younger sister Subhadra are taken out to their aunt’s temple which is the Gundicha temple, where they stay for eight days and then return in their three respective chariots from the Garden House or ‘Adapa Mandapa’ in Gundicha temple. This temple is just 2 Kms away from the main temple.

The Bahuda Yatra is celebrated every year on the tenth day of bright fortnight of the Hindu calendar month of Ashadha which falls in the month of June or July according to the Gregorian calendar.

Devotees pulled the richly decorated chariots, that resembled the temples, as a part of the ritual. On the way back home, the Trinity stopped at the Mausima temple where the Trinity were offered ‘poda pitha’ made of rice, jaggery, coconuts, and lentils, which is considered as the lord’s favorite. The Emami temple founders along with their family members performed ‘Chhera Pahanra’ as they swept on the chariots with a golden broom.

Lakhs of devotees gather every year to witness the Trinity’s Bahuda Yatra, and the police tighten their belts in order to make the festival go on smoothly. Devotees from all over the world come to Puri with a desire to help pull the chariots of the dieties which is considered as an auspicious deed. This is the only day where everybody seeking blessings can get their glimpse of the dieties, even the ones who are not allowed in the temple premises during regular days, like the non Hindus or the foreigners.

The Trinity would be ready for dharshan to the people in temple tomorrow during the ‘Suna Besha’. The dieties, as a part of the celebration, would be attired in gold ornaments and worshipped on their chariots.

– by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha