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Ratha Yatra

Rath Yatra in 2010 is on July 13, 2010.

Rath Yatra is a festival celebrated by Hindus in India, on the auspicious day of Ashadh Sud 2, every year in early July. In Hindi Rath means a chariot and Yatra a pilgrimage.This festival originated in Jagannath Puri on the eastern coast. Lord Krishna, Balaram and Subhadra, dieties of Jaganath Temple are traditionally installed on Chariots by the devotees every year. The chariots is then pulled by the devotees through the streets, symbolizing a yatra (procession).Centuries ago, the local king would serve humbly by sweeping the road ahead of the chariot with a golden broom.

There are several stories associated with the origin of this festival. The following highlights a few of them.

A maternal uncle of Lord Krishna, Kamsa, invited Lord Krishna to Mathura.He carried a malicious intention of killing him.A chariot was sent to Gokul by Kamsa. This day of departure from Gokul to Mathura is celebrated as Rath Yatra.

Devotees of Lord krishna celebrated the day when Kamsa was vanquished by Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna later gave darshan to his devotees in Mathura in a chariot with his brother.

Lord Krishna accompanied Balaram and Subhadra on a chariot for a ride to show the city's beauty.

During the battle of Mahabharat, which lasted eighteen days, Lord Krishna became the Sarathi, a driver, for Arjuna's chariot.

The Jagannath Mandir is among the four most sacred mandirs in the four directions of the Indian sub - continent. Rameshwar in South, Badrinath in the Himalayas (north), Dwarka in west are the other three. Jagannath Puri temple is also probably the only temple in the whole world to house murtis of three deities who are also siblings - Lord Krishna, Balaram and Subhadra.

Amisha Patel
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