Puri Rathayatra


No deity is more open to interpretation than the Lord Jagannath of Puri. Though being worshipped as another form of Lord Krishna, Jagannath cannot be more different to that sublime flute-player. In form and spirit Lord Jagannath inspires an awe quite lacking in Krishna. His 12th century temple at Puri certainly hides a lot of eerie mystery. Was Lord Jagannath really a pre-Aryan totem revered by the tribal Sabars? Was He aryanized duly in a process of political overpowering? Was His following among all caused a forced metamorphosis?  Whoever He might be, He possesses a universality that is best satisfied during Rathayatra—or on the day He comes out into a heterogeneous mass. Melting all classes and cultures into a homogeneous wave of believers is His great magic. People emerge from everywhere to drag His chariot.