Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra or the Car Festival is the most important festival of Lord Jagannath. This annual festival is celebrated on Ashad Shukla Dwitiya (second day in bright fortnight of Ashad month).
Puri Rath yatra commemorates the journey of Lord Krishna from Gokul to Mathura.
As part of Rath Yatra, the idols of Lord Puri Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Subhadra are taken out in a procession to Gundicha Temple and remain there for nine days. Then the idols or Rath Yatra returns to Puri Jagannath temple. The return journey of Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra is known as Bahuda Yatra.
In 2018, Jagannath Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra at Jagannath Puri commences on the 14th July 2018, and the return yatra i.e., the Bahuda Yatra will take place on 22nd July 2018.
During the Rath Yatra, the deities will be traveling from their coastal home in Puri in their royal chariots and this journey will take nine days.
The 3 chariots for each of the deities, resemble a temple structure reaching almost 45 feet, and are pulled by a rope which is considered lucky amongst pilgrims. . The “darshan” of Lord Jagannatha on the chariot is considered to be very auspicious, and worshippers believe that touching the Lord’s vehicle brings prosperity.
The rath yatra festival is also referred to as Gundicha Jatra, Ghosa Jatra, Navadina Jatra or Dasavatara Jatra
The Jagannath Rath Yatra is shown live on TV on Doordarshan channel DD Oriya TV and other major news channels in India like Star news, NDTV, Aaj Tak, TV9, etc.
Live Streaming of 2018 Puri Rath Yatra Visit –