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RATH YATRA AHMEDABAD

Every year in mid-summer, Lord Jagannath, with his elder brother Balabhadra and sister
Subhadra, goes on vacation, travelling on grand chariots, from his temple in Puri, to his garden
palace in the countryside. This belief of the Hindus has given rise to one of the biggest religious
festivals in India the Rath Yatra or the Chariot Festival. This is also the etymological origin of
the English word 'Juggernaut'.
Jagannath, believed to be an avatar of Lord Vishnu, is the Lord of Puri the coastal town of
Orissa in eastern India. Rath Yatra is of great significance to the Hindus, and especially to the
people of Orissa. It is during this time that the three deities of Jagannath, Balabhadra and
Subhadra are taken out in a grand procession in specially made gigantic temple-like chariots
called raths, which are pulled by thousands of devotees.

Historical Origin

Many believe that the custom of placing idols on grand chariots and pulling them is of Buddhist
origin. Fa Hien, the Chinese historian, who visited India in the 5th century AD, had written
about the chariot of Buddha being pulled along public roads.

Rath Yatra of Ahmedabad

The Rath Yatra of Ahmedabad stands next to the Puri festival in grandeur and crowd-pulling.
Nowadays, there are not just the thousands of people who participate in the Ahmedabad
event, there are also communication satellites which the police use under the global positioning
system to chart the course of the chariots on a map on the computer screen to monitor them
from a control room.

Mahant Shree Narsinhdasji Maharaj had introduced the Rathayatra in the year 1878.
Rathayatra is observed on ASHADHA SHUKLA DWITIYA every year. Normally, throughout the
year devotees come to the temple for the DARSHAN of Lord Jagannath and on this day, Lord
Jagannath Himself goes out to see his devotees especially, to Disabled who could not visit the
temple.




After performing the PAHINDVIDHI by the CHIEF MINISTER of Gujarat, the procession is led by
15 to 20 elephants in decorative dress, then followed by TRUCKS decorated with religious floats
and then AKHADAVALAs, with their trained ATHLETS performing aerobatics to please Lord
Jagannath. Next in the procession follows disciples with decorative flags of the temple, BHAJAN
MANDALI, RAS GARBA, bands and then comes the Holy Trinity on chariots pulled by devotees.
The procession halts at Saraspur, where the local people feed the entire entourage of devotees
of Lord Jagannath. In the evening the Rathayatra returns to the main temple. This Rathyatra is
now celeberated as LOKOTSAV of Gujarat.











In the previous years the festival timings were from 4 am to 9 pm IST. Rath Yatra started at 7 am
IST.

Live Streaming:

Webcast, podcast, online stream of the Rath yatra can be seen in the official Temple website
http://www.jagannathjiahd.org/live_darshan.php

Live Telecast:

Sri Jagannath Mandir Rath Yatra is also normally live telecast in Doordarshan DD Girnar
(Gujarati). Last year Live telecast began at 3.50 am IST The live telecast began in ETV Gujarati
at 4 am in the morning. TV9 Gujarat, VTV Gujarat, Sandesh TV might also live telecast the
festival.

Schedule:

Previous years the puja schedule were as follows
Mangal Aarti to Lord Jagannath - 4 am;
Special Bhog Kichdi - 4.30 am;
Sri Jagannath will come to Rath at 6 am;
Rath Yatra starts at 7 am IST.
Rath Expected to Return to Temple at 6.30 pm


Statistics:

Rath Travel Distance - 15 km.
In previous years - 18 Elephants, 101 trucks depicting Indian Culture, 30 Akkadas
performing Aerobatics, 18 Bhajan Mandalis, Ras Garba, bands and others accompanied
Lord Jagannath
Rath will Halt at Saraspur and then return to Temple.

ROUTE FOR THE YATRA




Next Year Ahmedabad Rath Yatra:

In 2015, Ahmedabad Rath Yatra is on July 18, 2015 (Saturday)
In 2016, Ahmedabad Rath Yatra is on July 6, 2016 (Wednesday)