Experience the worlds of faith, spirituality, and devotion coming together at the Jagannath Rath Yatra in Puri. A religious festival that fills the air with vibrant colours, celebratory music, and dance, this grand occasion in Odisha is worth experiencing once in your lifetime.
It is associated with God Jagannath, and people from every spectrum of life come together to celebrate this festival with zeal. Those who are firm believers of unity and spirituality should not skip a chance to see the Jagannath Rath Yatra 2023.
Plan your next trip to the city, be a part of the Rath Yatra, and check out other places to visit in Puri while you are there.
Jagannath Rath Yatra
Essential Tips and Travel Advice to Plan Your Trip to Puri
Puri is a serene place to explore, bringing you closer to your inner self. It is where you feel at peace and an unbreakable connection with God. Although the city is one of the holiest pilgrims for everyone, there are some things to take care of.
If you are planning a trip to Odisha and want to cover the major Puri tourist places, follow these travel tips for safety –
- Check the Temple Timings in Advance: Puri temples have fixed timings. So ensure that before you head to any of the temples, you check their working hours. Also, go early to save yourself from the rush, especially on weekends.
- Skip Beach Stall Seafood: Although nobody wants to skip on the authentic Odiya cuisine in Odisha, ensure you eat it only from a hygienic restaurant or cafés. Avoid going to the beach stalls, as your stomach might turn sensitive.
- Visit Beaches Before 8 p.m.: Puri is home to pristine beaches, but they are safer before 8 p.m. These places are not appropriately lit and can be risky to visit at night.
- Take Care of the Clothing: Puri is a religious place, wearing clothes that cover your legs is better. The best choice is salwar kameez.
Accommodation Options: Where to Stay During the Jagannath Rath Yatra
Planning accommodation can save a lot of time and hassle. When you come to the city to attend the Jagannath Rath Yatra, you will find numerous options to stay. Explore these options we have shortlisted for you –
- Swargadwar: The location is close to the Jagannath Temple and is convenient for those who want to participate in the festival. There are various guesthouses and hotels to stay at, all of which are affordable.
- Chakra Tirtha Road: This popular area in Puri is close to the temple and has various guesthouses and hotels for accommodation. These places are warm and welcoming.
- Beachside Resorts: If you don’t want the hustle of city life and are looking for a relaxed place, then there are a few beachside resorts that you will like. Although they are a little far from the main city, they promise a serene vibe.
- Grand Road: This is the route from where the Yatra begins, with several hotels and guesthouses for visitors. If you want complete access to the festival without leaving the hotel room, Grand Road is the place for you.
Preparing for the Festivities: Dress Code and Etiquette
Jagannath Rath Yatra is one of India’s most celebrated festivals, so it is important to prepare for it while keeping certain etiquettes in mind. This maintains discipline throughout the rituals and shows the respect and love you hold for the auspicious time.
Here are some of the dress code rules and etiquette to keep in mind –
- Make sure to dress modestly for the occasion. Men should wear traditional attire such as a kurta, pyjama or dhoti. Women, on the other hand, can don sarees, suits, or other traditional outfits.
- Remove your footwear before entering the temple. A lot of people carry a bag to keep their footwear safe.
- Rath Yatra is a sacred procession, so maintaining decorum is important. Follow the instructions conveyed by the authorities and have patience. Many people get involved in unnecessary unrest, which only demeans the purpose of this festival.
- If you want to offer Prasad to the temple, consult about the same from the organisers to avoid any last-minute confusion.
Witness the Spiritual Fervour: Highlights of Jagannath Rath Yatra
This festival is a divine experience with so much to look forward to. When you attend the Jagannath Rath Yatra 2023, you will be welcomed with a lot of important activities that are the main highlights –
- Rath Yatra, or chariot procession, is an important part of the festival. Devi Subhadra, Lord Jagannath, and Lord Balabhadra are carried on a beautifully-adorned rath from Jagannath to Gundicha.
- Devotees actively participate in the festival by pulling the ropes of the rath and carrying the deities for approximately 3 km. Many people believe that doing this will bring good fortune.
- People are dressed in vibrant Indian attires and involved in dance and music while the rath is carried from one temple to another. The kind of faith, devotion, and joy seen in everyone is truly mesmerising.
- Chhera Pahara is a special ritual conducted where the Gajapati King sweeps the platforms of the chariot. According to the belief, Gajapati King was the main servitor of God Jagannath.
Attractions Beyond the Yatra: Puri Tourist Places
There are plenty of places to visit in Puri. If you are visiting the city, explore these gems that will make your trip worthwhile –
- Puri Beach: This beach stretches along the Bay of Bengal and is surrounded by golden sand, which makes it look serene. This is a popular spot in Puri to witness sunrise and sunset.
- Chilika Lake: Chilika Lake is located approximately 50 km from Puri but is known to be Asia’s biggest brackish water lagoon. Tourists come here for boat riding, bird watching, and peaceful surroundings.
- Konark Sun Temple: This is termed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and is dedicated to the Sun God. It is known for its intricate stone carvings and is a true architectural gem.
- Narendra Tank: The tank is located near the Jagannath Temple and is known for its healing powers. Devotees visit this place to dip in the water to heal themselves and ask for blessings.
Shop for Souvenirs: Local Handicrafts and Religious Artefacts
Puri is a culturally rich place known for its handicrafts and artistic beauty. Many local shops sell religious artefacts and handicrafts that you can take back home as souvenirs. Pattachitra, a traditional painting on palm leaves or cloth, is also in huge demand throughout the year.
As you visit those local street shops, you will find stone carving sculptures, applique work on clothing, wall decorations, and home décor.
Safety and Security Measures to Ensure a Smooth and Enjoyable Trip
To have a great trip, what’s important is a little planning. If you are visiting during peak season, book the tickets for the Volvo sleeper bus in advance so you don’t have to struggle to find seats. Now that the process of booking a bus ticket has shifted online, the hassle is minimum.
You can visit the Zingbus portal to book the bus ticket online and get the desired seats quickly.
So, switch to online bus booking instead of waiting in long queues, have a great trip, make memories, and bring back souvenirs.