Ratha Yathra chariot being pulled in Odisha
© DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Image
The holy Ratha Yathra. Ratha Yathra celebrations in Puri, Odisha
The Ratha Yathra is an annual festival observed in Odisha, West Bengal and other eastern states. The ‘Ratha’ refers to a holy wooden chariot that proceeds through the town of Puri. Technically, the term Ratha Yathra could be used describe any religious procession involving a chariot, but the most popular is the Odisha festival's Jagannath procession through Puri, ending its short journey at Shri Gundicha Temple. So how is the chariot fueled? That’s usually never a problem, as over a million devotees show up at the festival each year. Pulling the chariot with thick ropes as you see in the image, is considered an honour of course.