This Year At The Jagannath Rath Yatra The Rath Will Be Pulled Twice; All About The Rare Occurrence

It marks a historic convergence not seen in over half a century.

by Mallika Khurana
This Year At The Jagannath Rath Yatra The Rath Will Be Pulled Twice; All About The Rare Occurrence

In the ancient town of Puri, anticipation stirs as a celestial rarity unfolds. The year 2024 heralds a Jagannath Rath Yatra like no other, marked by a convergence of cosmic events unseen for over half a century. As pilgrims and onlookers gather from far and wide, Puri prepares to witness not just a procession but a moment woven with celestial threads, promising a journey into the mystical heart of tradition and spirituality.

Puri Gears Up For Historic 2024 Jagannath Rath Yatra

puri yatra
Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons

The upcoming Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra in 2024 is set to be an extraordinary event, marked by a rare celestial alignment that occurs only once every 53 years. This auspicious occasion combines several unique occurrences, making it a momentous event for devotees and visitors alike.

Also known as the Chariot Festival, it is one of the largest religious gatherings globally, held annually in Puri, Odisha. It celebrates the journey of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Goddess Subhadra from the Jagannath Temple to the Gundicha Temple.

This year, the Rath Yatra holds special significance due to rare occurrences:

  • Netrotsav and Nabajoubana Darshan on the same day: After 53 years, devotees will witness the Netrotsav (reappearance of the deities’ eyes) and Nabajoubana Darshan (first glimpse after a period of isolation) coinciding with the Rath Yatra.
  • Shortened Anasara period: Normally 15 days, this year’s isolation period (Anasara) is reduced to 13 days, altering the traditional rituals.

The convergence of Netrotsav, Nabajoubana Darshan, and the shortened Anasara period after such a long interval make this Rath Yatra exceptionally rare. Such celestial alignments are significant in Hindu belief systems, reflecting unique cosmic energies and divine blessings.

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Sacred Streets Prepare For Rare Celestial Conjunction

jagannath temple
Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Another exceptional aspect of this year’s Rath Yatra is the double pulling of the chariots by devotees. Typically, devotees pull the chariots on the first day of the festival. However, this year, due to the unique celestial arrangement, the chariots will be pulled twice. It will also give devotees an extraordinary opportunity to participate in this auspicious act of devotion.

The festival commences with early morning rituals like Mangal Alati and Bandhapana, followed by preparations by servitors and ceremonial rites. Beyond its religious significance, the Rath Yatra is also a cultural extravaganza, drawing pilgrims and tourists worldwide. 

The 2024 Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra promises to be a moment of joy, spirituality, and cultural pride.

Cover Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

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