The Rath Yatra at Puri Jagannath Temple, Odisha state is to take place on July 7, 2024

The Rath Yatra at Puri Jagannath Temple is a renowned and vibrant chariot festival celebrated with great fervor in Odisha, India. This 12th-century temple, built by King Chodaganga Deva, serves as the focal point for the grand event, attracting the largest number of devotees compared to similar festivals in other states, particularly South India.

Puri Jagannath temple, Odisha.

Puri Jagannath temple Yatra.

wooden idols of Jagannath temple, Puri Odisha

Above images; Three huge chariots carrying the wooden deities of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Goddess Devi Subhadra to the Gundicha Temple, Puri Odisha.  The deities and worship traditions  are of tribal origin (unlike other Hindu temples, the main idols are made of pure wood). Only temple in India where main idols in the sanctum are taken out of the temple to the devotees for darshan. ............

Scheduled for July 7, 2024, this year's Rath Yatra follows the completion of the Snana Yatra ritual on June 22. The festival, held during Ashadha Masa, the third month of the Odia calendar, involves several long-held traditional rituals and the construction of three wooden chariots. On the second day of the waxing phase of the moon, the richly decorated rathas carry sibling deities Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Goddess Devi Subhadra—to the Gundicha Temple, located three miles from the main temple. This temple is considered their birthplace and serves as their temporary abode during the festivities.

The following are the rituals after the main rath yatra: Hara Panchami - July 12, 2024 -symbolizing God's visit to the Gudhicha temple in search of Lord Jagannath. Bahuda Yatra -July 15, 2024 marking the return of the three deities to the main temple. Suna Besha -July 16, 2024 marking the adoration of the deities with gold ornaments. Niladri Bijaya - July 17, 2024  concluding ritual that marks the closure of the annual Ratha Yatra festival.

Driven by bhakti, millions of devotees gather on the Grand Road to witness this spectacular event. The deities stay at their aunt's house for nine days, after which they embark on their return journey, known as the Bahuda Yatra. This journey concludes with the Niladri Bije, marking the deities' return to the main temple's garbhagriha or sanctum. Lord Jagannath returns to his main abode just before Devshayani Ekadashi, when he goes to sleep for four months.

The Puri Rath Yatra has gained international recognition, especially among ISKCON followers, who have popularized the festival across the globe.