Significance of the RATHA YATRA chariots in JAGANNATH PURI.

Each year in Jagannath Puri, three enormous chariots are built anew for Lord Jagannatha, Balarama and Subhardra. Over 1,000 logs are brought from the Dasapalla and Ranpur forests, and more than 100 carpenters work for two months constructing the three chariots. A local mill provides nearly 2,000 meters of cloth each year, and the chariots are radiantly draped in color. Very strong coconut fiber ropes, 8 inches in diameter, are used by the devotees to pull the chariots along the parade route. The nails, brackets and fixtures are all made locally, and the smiths work for a month on them. The ratha’s main structure (above the wheels) contains eighteen pillars and roofs. Each chariot holds nine parswadevatas (subsidiary deities), two dwarapalas (door keepers), one Sarathi (charioteer) and one presiding deity of the crest banner (dhwaja devata), and all are made of wood.

JAGANNATHBALABHADRASUBHADRA
RathaNANDIGHOSA GARUDADHWAJA KAPILDHWAJATALADHWAJADARPADALANA PADMADHWAJA
Number of wheels161412
Total number of wooden pieces832763593
Height13.5m.13.2m.12.9m.
Color of cloth wrappingsRed, YellowRed, BlueRed, Black
Guarded byGarudaVasudevJayadurga
Names of charioteersDarukaMataliArjuna
The flagTrailokyamohiniUnnaniNadambika
The horsesShankha, Balahaka, Shveta, HaridashvaTibara, Ghora, Dirghashrama, SwarnanavaRochika, Mochika, Jita, Aparajita
The ropesSankhachudaBasukiSwarnachuda
Presiding nine DeitiesVaraha, Govardhana, Krushna, Gopi – Krishna, Rama, Narayana,Trivikram, Hanuman and RudraGanesha, Kartikeya, Sarvamangala, Pralambari, Halayudha, Mrutyunjaya, Natamvara, Mukteshwar, SheshadevChandi, Chamunda, Ugratara, Vanadurga, Shulidurga, Varahi, Shyama Kali, Mangala and Vimala