Festival of Chariots (Rathayatra) is an ancient cultural festival of India originally held at Puri, in the state of Odisha where it is attended by millions of people. On this day, the presiding deities of the main temple, Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra are taken out from the temple premises in an elaborate procession in huge colorful chariots. The chariots are manually pulled with ropes by thousands of people accompanied by a procession of blissful dancing and singing. Only on the day of Rathyatra, the deities come out of the temple to give personal audience to the general mass of people who otherwise may not have had an opportunity to see them. This festival is believed to bring auspiciousness and good luck to anyone who participates.
Outside of India, this festival was first celebrated in San Francisco, USA in the year 1967 under the guidance of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). Currently, this festival is observed in all the major countries of the world including United States, Canada, South America, South Africa, United Kingdom, Poland, New Zealand, Australia etc. ISKCON Phoenix has been holding this event in grand scale since 2017. This festival helps to bring peace, unity, harmony and love in the human society.
Lord Jagannath means the Lord of the universe, which is a form of Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Traditionally, He is worshiped along with His elder brother Baladeva and younger sister Subhadra in the ancient Temple of Puri in the State of Odisha. The Deities have a unique form with wide eyes, limbs shrunk into torso and broad smile. This reflects Their mood of ecstasy while experiencing devotees love for Them.
Things To Do at Festival of Chariots