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Rath Yatra: an ever growing ocean of faith

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MITHLESH SINGH

Ranchi: One of the most celebrated festivals of Jharkhand, Swami Jagannath RathYatra begins on July 4. The replica of the world-famous chariot festival of Puri has completed its glorious 3 centuries after its establishment by Nagvanshi king Ani Nath Shahdeo.
The festival, which is gaining popularity after each passing year, witnesses a converge of lakhs of devotees from across the state, who contribute in the Rath-pulling ceremony of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra riding on the giant wooden chariot, travelling to Mausi Bari, about 2 KM from the main temple.
Describing about the flourishing popularity of the Rath Yatra and three deities in spite of the gradually dominating materialistic social fabric and loosing spiritual sense, Manoj Tiwari, one of oldest priest of the Jagannath temple said that the devotees believe in the miraculous powers of Lord Jagannath which tempt them to offer divine respect and affection to the deity. “It is the miracle of Lord Jaganath that not only the older generation but the younger generation too has the same faith and enthusiasm for the Lord”.
Pinky Yadav, an earnest devotee of Lord Jagannath who was participating in the Netra-dan ceremony on the eve of Rath Yatra with her husband Nishant Yadav said on the auspicious occasion, “I feel lord Jagannath is always with me and my family to show us the right way so that we can come out of the problem”. “Whenever I feel restless in my personal or family life I call upon the Lord with all my faith and it always gives me great satisfaction, she added
.Jagannath Rath Yatra, also called “chariot festival”, marks the 500-year old, annual journey of the three deities in the state. The celebration ends nine days later with the return journey of the three deities to their temple.
The Journey of the deities begins in the morning when the three gods are taken out in a procession to their chariots parked in front of the Jagannath temple.
The entire festival area spread in more than100 acres reverberates with the sounds of ghanta (cymbals), kahali (type of flute), mahuri (a double reeded instrument), pakhauja (a variant of mridangam), mardal (similar to pakhawaj) and bells, when the procession begins.

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