Getting Around: Guwahati Gets Ready for the Jagannath Rath Yatra

Ahead of the holy Jagannath Rath Yatra, the energetic city of Guwahati is a hive of activity. This long-standing celebration, rich in spirituality and history, unites followers from all walks of life to commemorate Lord Jagannath’s 2.5-kilometer trip from the Jagannath temple to the Gundicha shrine.

A Colorful Procession

The Rath Yatra, which is also called the Chariot Festival, is a magnificent event that happens beyond time. Thousands of devotees congregate along the approved path as the sun rises, their hearts brimming with enthusiasm and devotion. Chants of “Jai Jagannath” fill the air, while the sound of conches and cymbals evokes a surreal atmosphere.

The Divine Trio

The three main protagonists of this heavenly parade are Devi Subhadra, Lord Jagannath, and Lord Balabhadra. Following the intricate “Pahandi” rite, these twin gods, dressed in colorful garments, ascend their own chariots. Goddess Subhadra is in the lead, followed by Lord Balabhadra and Lord Sudarshan. Lord Jagannath finally climbs onto the Nandighosa chariot.

The Journey Begins

Descending the 22 stairs called “Baisi Pahacha,” the gods release their celestial occupants as the bejeweled throne known as “Ratna Sinhasana.” As this holy descent is seen by the Lion’s Gate, the Grand Road as a whole becomes an ocean of people. With their elaborate decorations and vivid colors, the three magnificent chariots are poised and prepared to go off on their expedition.

President’s Witness

Rath Yatra this year is more significant since President Droupadi Murmu is anticipated to attend. 53 years have passed since the previous President graced this occasion. Over the course of the two days, special plans have been put in place to guarantee her comfort and protection.

A Spiritual Odyssey

The tugging starts as soon as the wooden horses are fastened to the chariots. Devi Subhadra on the Darpadalana chariot follows Lord Balabhadra, the leader of the procession on the Taladhwaja chariot. At the back is Lord Jagannath, astride Nandighosa. The gathering believers’ steadfast dedication is evident despite the heat and humidity.

The Jagannath Rath Yatra is a generation-spanning spiritual journey more than just a religious occasion. As the three heavenly chariots move closer to the Gundicha temple, Guwahati serves as a conduit for age-old customs, unwavering faith, and peaceful coexistence.

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