Jagannath Rath Yatra 2021: Rituals, Date, Timings & Celebrations During COVID-19

Jagannath Rath Yatra is one of the most awaited festivals in India that is organized every year by the temple town of Puri, Odisha. According to the Hindu calendar, this Yatra gets commenced on the second day of Shukla Pakshsa. This will be the 144th Rath Yatra of the Lord.

The best part about this Yatra is that thousands of devotees from all across the world participates in it. In the chariots, the idols of Lord Jagannath, Goddess Subhadra, and Lord Balabhadra are carried from the Jagannath temple to Gundicha temple. It’s a 3 Km long journey that is completed with great fervour by the devotees.

Puri’s Rath Yatra is an epitome of peace and unity. It is a belief that good luck will come to those devotees who will pull the Lord’s chariot. This Yatra is so magnificent that tourists from across the globe gathers to get a glimpse of the Lord.

Jagannath Yatra Rituals

Jagannath Yatra Rituals.pngHowever, the rituals get started much before the Rath Yatra day. Lord Jagannath and his brother and sister were provided with a ceremonial bath popularly known as Snana Yatra.

On the Puri Rath Yatra day, even a single glance of Lord Jagannath is considered to be auspicious. Three chariots are created for the deities, and all of them are quite a sight to behold.

Chariots of Rath Yatra

Chariots of Rath Yatra
The attractive chariots that we see during the Rath Yatra were created from the hands of the skilled workers and architects. More than 1, 000 logs are transported from Dasapalla and Ranpur forests for the construction of the chariots. Approximately 2000 meters of cloth were provided by a local mill for draping the chariots in a striking way. The robust quality coconut fiber ropes (8 inches’ diameter) are utilized for pulling the chariots.Names of 3 Chariots are as follows:

  1. Jagannath Rath name- Nandighosh Rath (45 ft. high)
  2. Balabhadra Rath name- Taladhwaja Rath (45.6 ft. high)
  3. Subhadra Rath name- Padmadhwaja Rath (44.6 ft. high)

Date & Timings of Jagannath Rath Yatra 2021

Here are the details for Jagannath Rath Yatra that you need to know about:

  1. 11th July- Dwitiya tithi will start at 6:17 am
  2. 12th July- Dwitiya tithi will end at 6:49 am

How Rath Yatra Will Be Celebrated During Corona Times?

How Rath Yatra Will Be Celebrated During Corona Times
We all know that what havoc COVID-19 has created worldwide. It has disrupted the normalcy of our lives, and the way we used to celebrate different festivals. Plus, the lockdown has made us feel like caged animals.

This year, it will start from July 12 but with COVID-19 safety protocols. Amidst the rising cases and possibility of the third wave, the Supreme Court has imposed certain restriction on the Rath Yatra throughout the state. This will dishearten the devotees for sure but, it is for their safety only.

No devotees will be allowed to participate in it and this will be the second year in a row. Only fully vaccinated servitors or who tested COVID negative have permission to pull the chariots. Devotees will watch the entire celebration through livestream.

Security personnel will be deployed to monitor that devotees will not gather in crowds to witness the Yatra as it can trigger the spread of corona virus. The decision has been taken to prevent the spread of this dangerous virus.

Although, the overall celebration will be different from the usual ones, but this will not bring down the zeal amongst the devotees for this chariot festival.