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Jagannath Rath Yatra 2024 : What happens to the chariot after Jagannath's journey, where does its wood go?

Jagannath Rath Yatra 2024 : The world famous Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra will start from June 7. On the day of Rath Yatra, Lord Jagannath along with his elder brother Balabhadra and younger sister Subhadra set out for the city tour on three different chariots. Let us know what happens to these chariots and their wood after the journey is over.
1 Month ago

Jagannath Rath Yatra 2024 : Preparations for Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra have started in Odisha. This pilgrimage takes place every year in the month of Ashadha. This year it will start preparations from June 7. There is a religious belief that devotees who pull Lord Jagannath's chariot get salvation, but what happens to the chariot and its sticks after the journey is complete? Let us know.

Jagannath literally means Lord of the Universe i.e. Nath of the world. Jagannathji is considered an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. On the day of Rath Yatra, Lord Jagannath along with his elder brother Balabhadra and younger sister Subhadra set out for the city tour on three different chariots. Every year new chariots are made for these three.

Chariots of Jagannath Yatra

The chariots of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra are made from the wood of neem and hansi trees. These trees are also selected by a special committee formed by the Jagannath Temple. The special thing is that no keel, fork or any other metal is used in making the chariot. Each year only members of certain families build the chariot. These people do not use any modern machines for this work. Many of these people have not even received formal training. These people make precise, best and strongest chariots every year based on the knowledge they have received from their ancestors.

What happens to the chariot after Jagannath Yatra?

Lord Jagannath's Rath Yatra starts from the main temple and ends at Gundicha temple, his maternal aunt's house located 3 kilometers away. Here Lord Jagannath rests for 7 days and then returns home. This is called Bahuda Yatra. Balabhadraji's chariot moves at the front of the yatra. Sister Subhadra's chariot is in the middle and Lord Jagannath's chariot is behind. All three chariots are very big. Their average height is 13 meters (42 ft).

The wheel of the chariot is considered the most expensive part

After the completion of the journey the parts of the chariot are separated. According to reports, most of the chariots have been auctioned. Details of its parts are given on Srijagannath website. The wheel of the chariot is the most expensive part, with a starting price of 50 thousand rupees. To buy parts of the chariot one has to apply first. Besides, whoever receives them, cannot misuse them. It is the buyer's responsibility to secure the wheels and other parts as per the instructions of the temple.

Even today, cooking for God is done in clay pots

Except for the auction, the remaining wood of the chariot is sent to the temple kitchen. There they are used as fuel for cooking offerings to the gods. This prasad is given to about 1 lakh devotees every day. The Jagannath temple kitchen located in Puri is a mega kitchen. 56 types of Prasad are prepared here daily to offer to God. Even today all these foods are prepared in clay pots.

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