Several temples pull chariots the next day following Sri Gundicha

There are old Jagananth temples in south Odisha where as per the tradition the ceremonial chariots for Rath Yatra are dragged on the next day of Sri Gundicha.

It may be noted that at the main temple of Sri Jagannath in Puri, the nine-day long Rath Yatra festival starts from the day of Sri Gundicha, which fell on June 10 this year. On this day the deities of Sri Jagannath temple are taken out in three large chariots from the main temple to the Sri Gundicha temple where the deities are kept for seven days and the return journey of the chariots takes place on the ninth day, which is named Bahuda Jatra.

This tradition is adhered to at most Sri Jagannath temples through out the country and abroad. But there are a few places in south Odisha where since past few centuries the chariots of Sri Jagannath are pulled on the day following Sri Gundicha. Some of these places where this different tradition still continues include Jeypore in Koraput district, Dharakote and Surangi in Ganjam district.

Pramod Patnaik, who lives in Jeypore had come over to Berhampur on the day of Sri Gundicha. He preferred to rush back to Jeypore on Thursday, so that he could take part in the continuing Rath Yatra festival in Jeypore. According to him this different tradition of Rath Yatra in Jeypore provides the inhabitants to enjoy the religious festivity for two days.

On Wednesday when Sri Gundicha was celebrated in Puri and other Sri Jagannath temples, the deities of the Sri Jagannath temple in Jeypore were only brought to the chariot through the ritualistic ‘pahandi’. But the chariot was not pulled by the devotees. Ritualistic pulling of the chariot for the Rathyatra celebration in Jeypore started on Thursday afternoon.

In Ganjam district similar tradition was observed at Dharakote.

Through traditional ritualistic ‘pahandi’ the deities were brought to the chariot. But the chariot was ceremoniously pulled through the main road of Dharakote on Thursday.