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Jagannath Rath Yatra 2024, History, Rituals and Significance

Jagannath Rath Yatra 2024

The Jagannath Rath Yatra, one of the most significant Hindu festivals, is celebrated annually in Puri, Odisha. This vibrant event, steeped in rich cultural heritage and deep religious fervor, attracts millions of devotees from across the globe. The 2024 Rath Yatra, however, was marked by a tragic incident, but the festivities continued with the same devotion and spirit. Here’s a comprehensive look at the Jagannath Rath Yatra 2024, including its date, timings, history, significance, rituals, and the unfortunate incident that occurred.

Jagannath Rath Yatra 2024 Date and Timings

In 2024, the Jagannath Rath Yatra was observed on Sunday, July 7. According to the Drik Panchang, the auspicious timings for the Dwitiya Tithi were:

  • Dwitiya Tithi Begins: 04:26 AM on July 6, 2024
  • Dwitiya Tithi Ends: 04:59 AM on July 7, 2024

Jagannath Rath Yatra 2024 Stampede

During the 2024 Jagannath Rath Yatra in Puri, a stampede-like situation occurred when a devotee fell during the chariot pulling of Lord Balbhadra. This tragic incident resulted in one death and 15 injuries. Most injured devotees were treated and discharged with minor injuries. Odisha CM Mohan Charan Majhi announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 4 lakh to the deceased’s next of kin.

Jagannath Rath Yatra History and Significance

The Jagannath Rath Yatra is believed to date back to between the 12th and 16th centuries. It is associated with various myths and legends. Some traditions suggest that the festival symbolizes Lord Krishna’s visit to his birthplace, while others attribute its origins to King Indradyumna, who is said to have initiated the rituals.

The festival gained prominence during the reign of Odisha’s Gajapati kings. Over the centuries, it has grown in scale and grandeur but has retained its core purpose: to symbolize Odisha’s rich cultural heritage and the deep faith of millions.

The festival marks the journey of three deities: Lord Jagannath, his elder brother Balabhadra, and their sister Subhadra. They travel from the Jagannath Temple in Puri to the Gundicha Temple, which is considered their maternal aunt’s temple, approximately 3 kilometers away.

Jagannath Rath Yatra 2024 Highlights

  • Millions of devotees from across the country attended the festival.
  • Early morning rituals included Mangala Aarti, Dashavatara Puja, and Surya Puja.
  • Khichdi Bhog-Prasad was offered to the deities.
  • President Droupadi Murmu, Odisha CM Mohan Charan Majhi, and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan witnessed the procession in Puri.
  • West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and Bihar Deputy CM Vijay Kumar Sinha participated in respective local celebrations.
  • Telangana CM Revanth Reddy and Tripura CM Manik Saha participated in Rath Yatra events in Hyderabad and Agartala, respectively.
  • After 53 years, Nabajouban Darshan, Netra Utsav, and Rath Yatra were performed on the same day.
  • Odisha Police implemented AI-based systems for traffic and crowd management, using CCTV and drones to identify blind spots and traffic jams.
  • The ceremonial ‘Pahandi’ ritual began around 11 AM.
  • Chariots for Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Devi Subhadra were prepared for the procession.
  • Chherapahanra ritual by Gajapati Dibyasingha Deb was performed before the chariots were ceremoniously pulled by devotees at 5 PM.

Rituals of Jagannath Rath Yatra 2024

The Jagannath Rath Yatra is a festival rich in symbolism and tradition, marked by a series of elaborate rituals:

  1. Rath Snana (Ceremonial Bath):
    • Held a day before the Yatra, this ritual involves bathing the deities with 108 pots of aromatic water. It symbolizes the purification of the deities before their journey.
  2. Rath Pratistha (Consecration of Chariots):
    • After the ceremonial bath, the newly constructed chariots are blessed and consecrated with mantras. This ritual sanctifies the chariots for the divine journey.
  3. Rath Yatra (Chariot Procession):
    • On July 7, 2024, the grand procession began. The deities took their seats in the chariots at 2:30 pm. Devotees lined the streets, chanting hymns and pulling the enormous chariots towards the Gundicha Temple. The deities stay at the Gundicha Temple for nine days, allowing devotees to seek their blessings.
  4. Bahuda Yatra (Return Journey):
    • After the nine-day stay at the Gundicha Temple, the deities embark on their return journey to the Jagannath Temple. This procession is marked by similar joy and fervor.
  5. Niladri Vijaya (Conclusion):
    • The festival concludes with the dismantling of the chariots, symbolizing the end of the divine journey and the promise of its renewal the following year.

Unique Aspects of Jagannath Rath Yatra 2024

This year’s Rath Yatra was historically significant as it was the first time in 53 years that the Nabajouban Darshan, Netra Utsav, and Rath Yatra rituals were performed on the same day. Typically, the Nabajouban Darshan and Netra Utsav rituals precede the Rath Yatra, but this rare alignment added a unique aspect to the 2024 celebrations.

The rituals began early in the morning, with the Mangala Aarti performed at 2:00 am instead of the usual 4:00 am. The Dashavatara Puja took place at around 2:30 pm, followed by Naitrotsav at 3:00 pm. The King of Puri performed the Puja at 4:00 am, followed by Surya Puja at 5:10 am and Dwarpal Puja at around 5:30 am. Khichdi Bhog-Prasad was offered to the Lord at 7:00 am.


The Jagannath Rath Yatra is a profound and spiritual event that draws millions of devotees each year. Despite the tragic incident, the spirit of devotion and the rich cultural heritage of Odisha remain unshaken. The government and organizers are committed to ensuring the safety of all participants and upholding the sanctity of this revered festival. The rhythmic chanting of hymns, the fervent enthusiasm of devotees, and the sheer magnitude of the event make it an unforgettable experience, promising to continue inspiring faith and devotion in the years to come.

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Jagannath Rath Yatra 2024 FAQs

Which date is Rath Yatra in 2024?

This year's great Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath will be in Puri over two days on July 7 and 8, 2024.

Is Jagannath Temple closed for 14 days in 2024?

The Jagannath Temple will be closed after the Snan Yatra and reopen on The Rath Yatra day. Usually, the temple remains closed for 15 days before Rath Yatra, but this year it will be for 14 days.

How many people died in Rath Yatra in 2024?

To ensure the safety of the devotees, authorities have deployed 180 platoons of security personnel, and AI-based CCTV cameras have been installed in Puri. However, two people have died, and over 130 were injured, including police personnel, during the Rath Yatra so far.

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