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Ulto Rath 2024 Date – end of Puri Jagannath Ratha Yatra - Ulta Rath Yatra

Ulta Rath, popularly known as Bahuda Yatra or Ulto Rath, is the return journey of the Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra chariots from the Gundicha Temple after eight days. Ulto Rath 2024 date is July 16. This marks the end of the Jagannath Rath Yatra.

Preparations for return journey begin on the seventh day of Ashada month. After morning puja puja in Gundicha Temple, three garlands offered to the three deities are taken out and the three chariots are sanctified which are stationed at the Saradha Bali.

Dakshina Moda ceremony – the chariots are turned around to face south for the return journey.

This turning around is a highly technical and is performed using special gears under expert guidance involving the makers of the chariot. All the chariots are pulled half a mile before they can be positioned in the way required.

The chariots for return journey are placed near the Naka Chana Dwara.

The order followed for this is the chariot of Subhadra (Devadalana) is in the middle, the chariot of Balabhadra (Taladhwaja) in the west and finally the chariot of Jagannath (Nandighosa) in the east. Subhadra in the middle, Jagannath in the right and Balabhadra in the left.

Special dry snacks are offered at the end of the Dakshina Moda ceremony and this is known as Ratha Bhoga.

The previous day of the return day is important. Chara malas are attached to the chariot and the same is placed inside the sanctum sanctorum before the deities.

The return journey begins on the afternoon of Ashada Shukla Paksha Dasami tithi or the tenth day during the waxing phase of moon in Ashad month.

The important pujas before the return journey are Rosa Homa, Surya Puja, Dwarapala Puja and morning food offerings.

After this the deities are prepared for the journey with fitting of wooden frame and Senapati Lagi. 

When the deities are being prepared, servitors carry chest drawers, pillows and other materials.

There is a festive atmosphere with dancers performing traditional dances as an offering to the deities. Acrobatics are performed. Performers also dress up as characters from epics and puranas like Hanuman.

The deities come out through the Naka Chana Dwara. They are fitted with Taihas and other accessories.

The deities are then seated on their respective chariots.

Murtis of Madana Mohana, Rama and Krishna are carried to the chariots of Jagannath and Balabhadra by the priests.

The pulling of the chariots begins in the afternoon.

The Chhera Pahara ritual is performed by the King and in his absence; it is performed by Mudirasta, a young Brahmin boy. 

During the Ulto Rath yatra, the chariots of Lord JagannathBalabhadraSubhadra make a stop at the Mausima Temple.

Mausima temple is dedicated to the aunt of Lord Jagannath and three deities are offered ‘poda pitha’, a special sweet made of rice, coconut, lentils and jaggery.

After this the chariot of Jagannath halts before the palace of Gajapati for the Lakshminarayana Bheta or the meeting of Lakshmi.

Then the chariot is pulled and it finally stops at its final destination.