He Rath Yatra at Temple of Jagannadha Swamy in Puri, Orissa is one of the major events in the Hindu calendar. The yatra, also popular as the Gundicha Yatra, Ghosa Yatra, Navadina Yatra or Dasavatara Yatra, holds much reverence for the devotees. Getting a glimpse of Lord Jagannatha on the chariot is considered to be very auspicious. It is also believed that if one gets to touch the chariot, or even the ropes with which it is pulled for that matter, the person is absolved of penance for ages. Devotees feel that the chariot, the wheels as well as the grand become one with Lord Jagannatha himself on this occasion.
Almost a fortnight before the yatra, the three festive deities, Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra, are given a ritual bath on the Snan Vedi, an open platform. On the day before the procession, three special chariots are decorated and lined outside the gate. On the day of the yatra, the priests bring out the bejeweled idols to the chariots. The first one to come out is Lo