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How to Identify the Ratha or Chariot of Lord Jagannath in Puri Rath Yatra

In Puri Rath Yatra, there are three chariots (Ratha) that are pulled from Puri Jagannath Temple through the Bada Danda, the grand road, to Gundicha Mandir. The three chariots belong to Lord Jagannatha, Balabhadra and Subhadra. But how do the devotees know which one belongs to Jagannath.

The easiest way to identify the Rath, or Chariot, of Lord Jagannath is by color of the covering of the chariot. The chariot of Jagannath has a yellow and red color canopy and it is also the largest of the chariots.

Jagannatha’s chariot is known as Nandighosh and it has 16 wheels. It also prominently displays the Sudarshana Chakra emblem.

The chariot is also known as Kapi Dhwaja or the pennant with the monkey - referring to presence of Hanuman on the chariot.

Yet another name of the chariot is Garuda Dhwaja, referring to the Vahana of Vishnu Garuda.

The guardian deity of the chariot is Garuda and the charioteer is known as Daruka.

The guardian goddess is Yogamaya.

The Bhairava of the Chariot is Ekapada and Yaksha is Haryakshya.

The flag on the chariot is known as Trailokyamohini - one who enchants the three worlds.

The rope that is used to pull is known as Shankahchuda.

The kumbha or sacred pitcher is known as Hiranmaya.

Along with Jagannath, the chariot also has the idols of Hanuman, Rama, Lakshman, Narayan, Krishna, Govardhan Dharana, Chintamani, Raghav and Narasimha.

The sages traveling on the chariot are Narada, Devala, Vyasa, Suka, Parashara, Vashistha, Vishwamitra and Rudra.

The belief is that the first chariot was presented by Indira, the king of Devas,to Vishnu.

Madanamohana the representative deity of Lord Jagannath also rides in the chariot.

The deity at the top of chariot is Kalyana Sundara.

The two Shaktis of the chariot are Bimala and Biraja.

The energies pulling the chariots are Kriya, Yoga, Agyan, Anugyan, Pragyan and Medha.

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