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Festivals and Events in Puri

The most well known and well attended festival in Puri is the famous Rath Yatra. Puri's annual "Car Festival", the Rath Yatra is held in the full moon phase of the Oriya month of 'Jestho’ - June/July in the Gregorian Calendar. Then, the town is chockfull of pilgrims who come to celebrate the return of the three gods to their mother’s home, a journey through the streets of Puri on a colossal wooden chariot/car hand pulled by king (the erstwhile Raja of Puri) and commoner alike. The more secular visitors include thousands of tourists who come to observe the procession of the colossal Jagannath chariots.

The chariot festival begins during the full moon phase when about five thousand devotees drag the `raths’ to the Garden House or Gundicha Ghar, the gods’ summer retreat. The gods take a nine- day holiday after which in a repeat yatra, the gods get back to the temple to 'perform their duties of listening to the people and granting them their heart’s desires'!

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