Yesterday I went a little off track, was sharing my life’s happy and some not so happy moments with you, but then that was an important change for me hence thought of sharing it too. Anyways let’s keep going back.
Every year we plan one vacation which is not going to either of grandparents’ home, but some new place. Kids are grown up now. They are in their teen, so we thought travelling with them will not be a challenge like it is while travelling with young kids. We have planned for a Vacation to Puri this year. Yes, to see the Jagannatha Rath yatra. Do you know the world Juggernaut is derived from Jagganath Yartra only, isn’t it Amazing?
In India, I am sure most of the people are aware about the Rath yatra happening in Puri, it happens in June or July as per general calendar and as per Hindu calendar it takes place in Asadha, which is rainy season. The procession happens with Jagannath (or Krishna, as I like to believe), Balabhadra and Subhadra along with Sudarshan Chakra on the Chariot.
The Rath-Yatra is also termed as the Shri Gundicha yatra. As this yatra of 3Km takes place from Bada Danda (main street of Puri) and travel (3 km) to the Shri Gundicha Temple. It is a nine-day festival, from the day the deities leave Jagannatha temple and live at the Gundicha Temple for nine days and come back, while halting at mausi maa temple, where they are offered Poda Pitha. I am planning to find the recipe for this and try to make them at home.
The magnificent size of Chariots can not be imagined just by looking the pictures, The Rath is 45 feet high and 35 feet square and takes about 2 months to construct. All the Artists and Painters put an effort of moths to carve and Paint the Rath. The wheels are designed every year.
Apart from wheels the wood-carved charioteer, horses, inverted lotuses on the wall behind the throne are also made by them. The huge chariots of Jagannath pulled by thousands of people.
Apart from the pious atmosphere, the human collaboration, the trance, peak of human emotions, the food and many other known things about this Rath yatra, for me personally it is special for two reasons one It is a celebration of siblings and second ‘chera pahara’ it is an important ritual, where the king Gajapati, sweeps the floor for diets with sandalwood water and powder with a gold handle broom, which shows that the door of the almighty every one stands equal.
So, as you must have known Suvin by now, he has done all the research, booking and every place to see enlisted. Although we don’t have a plan of too much sightseeing, but let’s see. The train journey is really going to be very long almost 30 hours, I only wish these two kids don’t throw tantrums.
As we start the journey towards Puri, the excitement of visiting a new place is on everyone’s face, but with travel time going up and the train getting late the excitement is weaning off and frustration is climbing. Although I am carrying lot of food and water, but I guess Suvin has to get down to fil more water. “Dad, don’t listen to mom. Please buy water bottles, I won’t be having that unclean station water.”. Exclaimed Suvin’s darling Princess. “I am fed up of eating the food we have brought from home; can we please eat what they are serving on the train? “, Said over pampered Nisarg. “No, No No it’s not good quality, you can fall sick” I tried to object but failed miserably “I like that foil wrapped food. See everyone is having that only, and no one is falling sick” He tried to retaliate
And by the time we three were having an unnecessary conversation cum fight, here comes the superhero with three water bottles under is arms and two plates of hot food. “Oh my God, how are you carrying all this” I exclaimed “Will you please hold this, rather than asking questions” he sounded a little agitated. No doubt why he is more loved by kids. Sometimes fuss over washrooms on the train and sometimes about a snoring uncle, we handle and ignored kids’ tantrums as per our capacity, And I thought travelling with toddlers was tough, huh. Finally, we got down at Puri. Checked in to our hotel, took shower, had dinner and slept, we had no more energy left after a journey of 35hours., Because the train got late. We are visiting temple early morning.
We are here at the bada Danda, the crowd is cheering, applauding and the atmosphere is euphoric. As told kids very strictly that, even if they think they are big enough, they have to hold at least one parents hand firmly. Have you been to taj mahal? When you keep seeing it in photographs and when you actually see the marvellous and humongous Taj, you remember your reaction. The mouth is left open and eye wide. I had same feeling when I saw these larger than like Chariots. It is one of the most spectacular congregations in the world. They were massive. We had a wonderful darshan, our stay was for two days. We visited the temple many times, as our accommodation was near to it. My kids who are not an atheist though they don’t do as much puja-path-hawan I do, had bowed to the power of almighty. The positivity and divine energy can be felt everywhere in Puri during these nine days. I am happy we could bring the kids here, they must have some devotional anchors in life something for the soul. It is indeed once in a life time experience.
This blog of part of #A2Z Challenge, there will be 26 blogs in this series all the blogs are in continuation. I am writing them from Z to A, as the story also flows from Death towards life. Hope you enjoy knowing Antara’s journey.
If you like this story Please do subscribe to my blog and leave your comments.