Important facts and Significance of Chariots Of Rath Yatra

In Jagannath Rath Yatra, we all crave for beautiful and huge cars. But, none of us can compete with Lord Jagannath in this case. He and his brother and sister are lucky enough to have a new car every year which is as high as the sky. He proudly comes out of the Jagannath temple ones a year and travels to his aunt’s home. Many skilled workers, architects, and engineers flock together to produce these three magnificent chariots known as the Rathas. Let’s know about some interesting facts and significance of chariots of rath yatra, Puri.

chariots of rath yatra

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Chariots(Raths) of Puri Rath Yatra

Each year in Jagannath Temple Puri, three enormous chariots are built anew for Lord Jagannath, Balarama and Subhadra. Over 1,000 logs are brought from the Dasapalla and Ranpur forests, and more than 100 carpenters work for two months constructing the three chariots. A local mill provides nearly 2,000 meters of cloth each year, and the chariots are radiantly draped in color. Very strong coconut fiber ropes, 8 inches in diameter, are used by the devotees to pull the chariots along the parade route, during Jagannath Rath Yatra. The nails, brackets and fixtures are all made locally, and the smiths work for a month on them. The ratha’s main structure (above the wheels) contains eighteen pillars and roofs. Each chariot holds nine parswadevatas (subsidiary deities), two dwarapalas (doorkeepers), one Sarathi (charioteer) and one presiding deity of the crest banner (dhwaja devata), and all are made of wood. The most interesting part of these chariots is that each of them has certain specific characteristics. Let’s have a look at the three different chariots of rath yatra with some interesting facts.

Names of 3 Chariots of Jagannath Rath Yatra

  1. Nandighosha or Garudadhwaja or Kapidhwaja  – Lord Jagannath’s Chariot,
  2. Taladhwaja – Lord Balabhadra’s Chariot
  3. Padmadhwaja or Devadalana – Goddess Subhadra’s Chariot

Nandighosha Rath – Lord Jagannath’s Chariot

Nandighosha rath

The chariot of Lord Jagannath is known as Nandighosha Rath. It is also known as Garudadhwaja and Kapidhwaja. You can identify the Chariot of Lord Jagannath by its color. The chariot of Jagannath has a yellow and red color canopy and it is also the largest of the chariots. The Chariot has 4 horses and the color of the horses is White. The height of the Chariot is 45 feet and it has 16 wheels. It also prominently displays the Sudarshana Chakra emblem. The guardian deity of the chariot is Garuda and the charioteer is known as Daruka. The flag on the chariot is known as Trailokyamohini. The rope that is used to pull the Chariot is known as Shankahchuda. Along with Lord agannath, the chariot also has the idols of Varaha, Govardhana, Krushna, Nrusimgha, Rama, Narayana, Trivikrama, Hanuman, and Rudra. The face of the Chariot is known as Nandi Mukha and the weapons are Sankha & Chakra.

Important facts of Nandighosha Rath

  • It is 45.6 feet high
  • The chariot has 18 wheels
  • The Chariot is known as Nandighosa
  • Total number of wooden pieces are 832
  • The colour of cloth in the chariot are Red and Yellow
  • The chariot is guarded by Garuda
  • The charioteers name is Daruka
  • The flags name is Trailokyamohini
  • The Horses in the chariot are Shankha, Balahaka, Shveta, Hardashva
  • The ropes used are Shankhachuda
  • The nine deities presiding in the chariot are Varaha, Govardhana, Krushna, Gopi-Krushna, Nursigha, Rama, Narayana, Trivikrama, Hanuman and Radra.

Taladhwaja Rath – Lord Balabhadra’s Chariot

Taladhwaja Rath

The chariot of Lord Balabhadra is known as Taladhwaja. You can identify the Chariot of Lord Balabhadra by its color. The chariot of Balabhadra has a green and red color canopy and it is the second largest of the chariots. The Chariot has 4 horses and the color of the horses is Black. The height of the Chariot is 44 feet and it has 14 wheels. The guardian deity of the chariot is Vasudev and the charioteer is known as Matali. Gate Keepers of the Chariot are Nanda & Sunanda. The flag on the chariot is known as Unnani. The rope that is used to pull the Chariot is known as Basuki. Along with Balabhadra, the chariot also has the idols of Ganesha, Kartikeya, Sarvamangala, Pralambari, Halayudha, Mrutyunjaya, Natamvara, Mukteshwar & Sheshadeva. The face of the Chariot is known as Ketu Bhadra and the weapons are Hala & Musala.

Important facts of Taladhwaja Rath

  • It is 45 feet high
  • The chariot has 16 wheels
  • The Chariot is known as Taladhvaja
  • Total number of wooden pieces are 763
  • The color of cloth in the chariot are Red and Blue
  • The chariot is guarded by Vasudev
  • The charioteers’ name is Matali
  • The flags name is Unnani
  • The Horses in the chariot are Tibra, Ghora, Dighashrama, Swamanava
  • The ropes used are Basukhi
  • The nine deities presiding in the chariot are Ganesh, Kartekeya, Sarvamangala, Pralambari, Halayudha, Mrutyunjaya, Natmvara, Mukteshwar, Sheshadeva.

Padmadhwaja/ Devadalana – Goddess Subhadra’s Chariot

Devadalana Rath

The chariot of Lord Subhadra is known as Devadalana. It is also known as Darpadalana and Padmadhwaja.  You can identify the Chariot of Goddess Subhadra by its color. The chariot of Subhadra has a black and red color canopy and it is also the smallest of the chariots. The Chariot has 4 horses and the color of the horses is red. The height of the Chariot is 43 feet and it has 12 wheels. The guardian deity of the chariot is Jayadurga and the charioteer is known as Arjuna. The flag on the chariot is known as Nadambika. The rope that is used to pull the Chariot is known as Swarnachuda. Along with Subhadra, the chariot also has the idols of Chandi, Chamunda, Ugratara, Vanadurga, Shulidurga, Varahi, Shyama Kali, Mangala and Bimala. The face of the Chariot is known as Bhakti Sumedha and the weapons are Padma & Kalhar.

Important facts of Devadalana Rath

  • It is 44.6 feet high
  • The chariot has 14 wheels
  • The Chariot is known as Devadalana
  • Total number of wooden pieces are 593
  • The color of cloth in the chariot are Red and Black
  • The chariot is guarded by Jayadurga
  • The charioteers’ name is Arjuna
  • The flags name is Nadambika
  • The Horses in the chariot are Rochika, Mochika, Jita, Aparajita
  • The ropes used are Swarnachuda
  • The nine deities presiding in the chariot are Chandi, Chamunda, Ugratara, Vanadurga, Shulidurga, Varahi, Shyama Kali, Mangala and Vimala

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Significance Of Rathas(Chariots)

Ratha was an ancient vehicle made of special metals and elements which were much scientifically advanced than we are today. Every God used to have a Ratha which could travel the land, air, and water as well. What message does this magical chariot give us? The wheels of the chariot are said to be the wheels of life, the road ‘Bada danda’ is the road to Nirvana (free from the austerities of life), and the ratha is where we stand. God – from his annual journey wants to tell us to always have Nirvana as the only aim in life and proceed accordingly. If any of the wheels break then the journey in life will get difficult.

Reference

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