Ratha Yatra of Lord Jagannath, is recognized as the most famous of the twelve festivals. It is the second important Yatra of Lord Jagannath. The Ratha Yatra is the source of amusement all over the Universe. The rationalism of the Ratha Yatra of Lord Jagannath, celebrated every year at Puri, is essentially to offer an opportunity to all people, regardless of their caste, creed, or religion, to have darshan of the Lords. The Ratha Yatra, unmistakably, is the symbol of equality among all beings.
As Lord Jagannath temple is one of the original chaar dhams. So philatelists throughout the world who collect on religious themes or specialized in Hindu mythology eagerly wait for any new philatelic releases on Lord Jagannath and rituals related to the temple.
During Ratha Yatra 2022, with the approval of CPMG, Odisha circle, four beautiful pictorial cancellations were released at Puri H.O.(752002) to commemorate important days of this 13 days long yatra from 30th June to 12th July, 2022. On the day of Ratha Yatra, though it was a holiday for Post Offices across the state, one special pictorial cancellation released at all the 35 Head Post offices to commemorate the day. In this blog I will try to share different covers posted from Puri H.O. with the special cancellation on the day of release and the 35 postmarks of different HOs on postcards.
The celebration of Ratha Yatra begins before one day of actual Ratha Yatra with the end of Anasara. On the concluding day of Anasara, Netrotsav, popularly known as Naba Jauban Darshan is celebrated in Lord Jagannath Temple. This year Netrotsav was on 30th June, 2022.
Naba Jaubana Besha Darshan is the holy sight of juvenile youth of Lord Jagannath. These Festivals are held for the purpose of renovation of the Lord Jagannath’s body. After being washed the body of Lord Jagannath needs repainting, this work is done by the DAITAS, which takes two weeks to complete. Then the Lord Jagannath Deities is fully restored to youth (NAVA JAUBAN). They have been fully painted, except their eyes. In this ceremony the eyes of the Deities are painted by their respected Pujaries and the Puja (worship) is started in the temple.
Ratha Yatra 2022:
The Ratha Yatra of the ‘four deities’ takes place on the second day of the bright fortnight of Ashadha for the overall well-being of the mankind. In the Skanda purana it has been described that no festival of Mahaprabhu is more important than that of the Shree Gundicha Yatra. Because, Shree Hari the supreme Lord of the cosmos rides & his chariot in a very delightful mood to the Gundicha Temple to fulfill His pledged command.
This year Ratha Yatra took place on 1st July, 2022. And one special pictorial postmark issued by Odisha postal circle at all 35 HOs across the state.
Postmarks of all 35 HOs on postcards.
Bahuda Yatra 2022:
In Odia language the word ‘Bahuda’ means ‘Return’. After 7 days long stay in Gundicha temple, the dieties commence “Bahuda Yatra” on 10th day of Ashadha. On their return journey to Jagannath temple, the three chariots stop in front of Mausimaa Temple. Here deities are offered ‘Poda Pitha’, a special sweet made of rice, jaggery, coconut and lentils.
A special postmark released at Puri H.O. on 10th July to commemorate Bahuda Yatra 2022.
Neeladri Bije 2022:
Neeladri Bije is the ceremony of Lord Jagannatha’s return from chariots to main temple with his siblings. This is the last and one of the interesting rituals of Puri Ratha Yatra. Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra enter the temple when they return from Gundicha temple. But Goddess Lakshmi doesn’t allow Lord Jagannath to enter the temple. A fight happens between Lord Jagannath and Laxmi in front of the temple. After Lord Jaagannath offers Rasagola to Goddess Laxmi, an Oriya sweet made of curd cheese. She calm down and accept his apology and allow him to enter the Puri temple. This day is also celebrated as Rasgola day in the state of Odisha.
A blue colored special cancellation released at Puri H.O. to commemorate the day.
Error: In the postmark ‘Neeladri‘ is misspelt in english language as ‘Niladri‘.
Thanks to the advance information provided by Department of Posts the philatelists got a chance to add these special postmarks to their collection. All the images shared in the blog are from personal collection.