Rath Jatra Festival Puri is one of the important festivals of Puri. Rath Jatra highlights the sacred journey of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra from the main temple of Puri to Gundicha Temple. Rath Jatra Festival at Puri commemorates the journey of Lord Krishna from Gokul to Mathura.
Rath Jatra Festival of Puri is the grandest of the all the festivals celebrated in Puri. Rath Jatra Festival in Puri is celebrated on the second day of Asadha. On this day, Lord Jagannath, Subhadra and Balabhadra are detached from the main temple. Then they are carried on a gigantic wheel to Gundicha bari, which is situated about one and a half mile from the main temple. At night, the deities stay in the chariot and the next dawn they are placed in the temple, where they stay for a week. After a week, the deities come back to the main temple.
Rath Jatra Festival Puri lasts for 9 days: one day for the journey, 7 days for staying at Gundicha Bari and one for the return journey. Apart from symbolizing the journey of Lord Krishna from Gokul to Mathura, Rath Jatra Festival also symbolizes the journey from dark to light. Thousands of devotees of Lord Jagannath come to celebrate this festival at Puri.