A look at the magnificent Rath Yatra celebrations across the world
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The 142nd Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath commenced in Odisha with lakhs of devotees flocking the 18 km route to catch a glimpse of the deity. During the yatra, the chariots of Lord Jagannath and his siblings — brother Balbhadra and sister Subhadra embark on a journey from the 400-year-old Jagannath temple located in Jamalpur area. What makes this festival unique is that it is the only festival where deities are taken out of temples to travel to devotees.
Interestingly, this festival is celebrated by devotees across the globe too with same enthusiasm.
Here's a glimpses of people celebrating the Rath Yatra across the globe.
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Devotees celebrating Lord Jagannath's Rath Yatra in New York this year. (Source: iskconglobal/Twitter)
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According to legend, the site of Lord Jagannath's temple in Ahmedabad was a forest on the east bank of the Sabarmati river. (Source: iskconglobal/Twitter)
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Devotees celebrating the Rath Yatra in Rome in 2017. (Source: iskconglobal/Twitter)
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Unlike its parent version in Odisha’s Puri, which happens at the Bada danda, a largely Hindu stretch, the Ahmedabad Rath Yatra passes through predominantly Muslim areas. (Source: iskconglobal/Twitter)
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Back home, it is believed that this is the only time of the year when the Lord goes out to meet his devotees, especially those who are physically challenged and unable to come to the temple. (Source: iskconglobal/Twitter)
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In India, the yatra is conducted on the day of Ashada Shukla Dwitiya or Ashaadi beej, which also marks the Kutchhi new year. (Source: iskconglobal/Twitter)
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In Russia, reportedly 6,000 devotees arrived at the Black Sea for the Rath Yatra festival in 2015. (Source: iskconglobal/Twitter)