Best wishes on the sacred occasion of Ratha JatraToday is Ratha Jatra!
Ratha Jatra, the Festival of Chariots, is celebrated every year at Puri, the Temple Town in Orissa. The deities of the main Temple, Lord Jagannatha, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra, with the celestial wheel ('Sudarshana') are taken out from the temple premises in an elaborate ritual procession to their respective chariots. The grand colourfully-decorated chariots, are drawn by thousands of devotees on the grand avenue to the Gundicha Temple ('Gundicha Bari'), two miles away from the Temple (Srimandira). After a stay of seven days, the deities will return to their abode in Srimandira (Ulta Ratha).
Not only in Orissa, Ratha Jatra is also celebrated with great pomp and glory in many places of West Bengal. Even now, carnivals take place in West Bengal on the occasion of Ratha Jatra.
I wish all Members of ISC on this auspicious occasion.