tripura rath yatra
Photo: Northeast Now

Along with the entire nation, Lord Jagannath’s Rath Yatra or the Car Festival, the grand annual festival symbolizing harmony was also celebrated in Tripura with gaiety and fervor on Saturday.

In capital Agartala, the main function took place in the Jagannath Temple where hundreds of thousands of devotees thronged to pull the chariot of Lord Jagannath.

In the year 1905, Maharaj Radha Kishore Manikya had built this Jagannath temple which is east facing like the famous Jagannath temple of Puri.

The deities in this temple were also brought from Puri and the festival here started more than 113 years back.

tripura rath yatra 1
Photo: Northeast Now

According to Puranas and Mantras, Jagatnath is the core deity who controls our path and mind.

In Tripura, after Durga Puja, the biggest gathering of people is Rath Yatra.

It takes place during the Hindu month of Ashar or Sraban and people from various religions participate here.

It has been taking here right from the royal time, now in spite of the size of the chariot getting smaller, the people’s participation has increased. People enjoy the festive forgetting their religion and children also brings out small chariots.

Jagannath, which means the keeper of the universe, is an incarnation of the Hindu god Krishna.

The annual procession is a symbolizing celebration of Jagannath’s weeklong journey from Kurukshetra to Bindraban to visit his maternal aunt’s house along with his elder brother Balabhadra and younger sister Subhadra some 5,000 years ago.

In Tripura people forgetting their religious identity participate in the Rath Yatra festival which is a symbol of secularism going on in this once kingly ruled state.

On the occasion, people worship Jagannath, Balaram and their sister Subhadra.

tripura rath yatra 2
Photo: Northeast Now

People from various religions get together and there is no division as right from old to young, all take part in the festival.

A large number of devotees participate in the Jagannath Rath Yara that takes annually and every year the participation of people is increasing.

Even people from outside also come to participate in the Rath Yatra here that is celebrated annually as Jagatnatha with Balar and Subhadra goes to visit their maternal aunt’s house.

The Rath Yatra in the eastern Indian city of Puri is among the few Hindu festivals which unify people rather than divide them along caste or religion.

Thousands of people also thronged here for the Rath Yatra route to have ‘darshan’ (site) of the Gods and Goddess.

According to Hindu belief, one who gets the ‘darshan’ of the god and goddess during Rath Yatra is washed of all earthly sins and is not born again in the earth and gets the blessings to stay back in the heaven.

One unique feature of Rath Yatra is that though it’s a Hindu festival, people from different other religions also participate in it to take blessings of Lord Jagannath, the keeper of the universe and for world peace so that people can live in peace.

tripura rath yatra 3
Photo: Northeast Now

Children also brought out small chariots to please Jagatnath, the light of knowledge, who moves through different roads of the city his chariot to bless all.

In Tripura, this festival is taking place from the royal times after a king of the Manikya dynasty, that ruled the state for more than 500 years, started the festival after bringing the deities from Puri.

Along with Agartala another famous Rath Yatra celebration takes place at Melaghar of Tripura where elephant is used to plull the chariot of Jagannath.

Pinaki Das

Pinaki Das is Northeast Now Correspondent in Agartala. He can be reached at: pinakianisk@gmail.com

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