CHEERS FOR CHARIOTS
Rath Yatra -- Festival of Chariots
July 16, 2007
Every year, in a small temple town on India's east coast, the gods take a vacation. The three deities that reside in Puri, Lord Jagannath, his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra, are placed in raths, or chariots, and drawn by thousands of devotees to a temple two miles north. Pulling the rath is believed to be symbolic of life's journey and is a practice that blesses those involved. Ranked as one of the grandest celebrations on earth for its elaborate colors, multitude of participants and ability to unite people of all backgrounds, this is also the only day when non-Hindus and foreigners, who are not allowed in the temple, can openly view the sacred deities.
For more information on Rath Yatra, visit rathjatra.nic.in or e-mail the Orissa Tourist Office at firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Umstead Hotel and Spa
100 Woodland Pond