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Lord Jagannatha Rath Yatra in Puri India
13-20 July
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Each June or July Ratha Yatra, the Festival of Chariots of Lord Jagannatha (the Hindu God Krishna) is celebrated every year at Puri, the temple town of Puri on the Bay of Bengal transforms during one of India's most impressive annual festivals, Rath Yatra. Hundreds of thousands of ecstatic devotees from all over India congregate at the Jagannath Temple.

The presiding deities of the main temple, Sri Mandira, Lord Jagannatha, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra (sister of God Krishna), with the celestial wheel Sudarshana are taken out from the temple precincts in an elaborate ritual procession to heir respective huge - 45 feet high colourfully decorated yellow chariots or raths are drawn by hundreds and thousands of devotees on the bada danda, the grand avenue to the Gundicha temple, some two miles away to the North.

The procession, or Rath Yatra, starts at the Jagannath Temple, and moves along a wide and congested street to the temple of Gundicha Ghar. After a stay for seven days, the deities return to their abode in Srimandira.

An atmosphere of devotion tends to mark the day of this holy yatra. Make sure you find a good vantage point if you plan to watch Rath Yatra - it gets really crowdy.
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