Festivals of Orissa

Festivals of Orissa

In June-July, Lord Jagannath's stately temple chariot goes in procession from the temple at Puri. The Rath Yatra celebrates Krishna's journey to Mathura to visit his aunt. The images of his brother, Balrama, and sister, Subhadra, are taken in procession with them.

Car Festival at Puri : Jagannath Rath Yatra (June/July): Jagannath, the deity in whole honour the festival is hels, is believed to be an incarnation of Vishnu. King Indradyumma, the legend goes, found a relic of Krishna, and wished to house it in a temple of Vishnu. So he engaged the services of Visvakarma, architect of the godes, to build him a magnificent temple and an image which would be worthy of it. The architect agreed on the conditions that he would be left entirely unobserved until the completion of his assignment. The work began, and in one day a beautiful temple was built. The king, however, was unable to restrain his curiosity, and went to see the architect at work. In a range, Visvakarma abandoned his work, leaving the image without hands or feet. King's plea for forgiveness was answered, and Brahma breathed the power of deity into the half-completed image, which has since then become one of the most famous of the deities.

The deity Jagannath, his brother Balabhadra and their sister Shbhadra, are placed on colossal chariots, each 13.7 m (45 ft) high with huge wheels measuring 2.1m. (7 ft) in diameter. These are pulled by hundred of devotees from all part of India. The spectacular procession goes from the temple in Puri to Gundicha Bari, a small distance away. After a stay of seven days at Gundicha Bari, the deities are carried back to their temple.

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