Puri Rath Yatra is a mega procession that is organized at Puri, the temple town of Orissa. It is held every year in the month of June-July and lasts for about ten days. During the procession, the idols of lord Jagannatha, Balabhadra and goddess Subhadra, the deities of the Sri Mandira, are taken out. Thousands of devotees transfer the deities in their respective chariots from the Jagannath Temple to the Gundicha Temple. For seven days, the deities stay at the Gundicha Temple and then return to Sri Mandira.
The Rath Yatra of Puri is also popular as Gundicha Yatra, Navadina Yatra, Ghosa Yatra, Dasavatara Yatra and so on. The Jagannath Rath Yatra holds much significance for the devotees. A glimpse of lord Jagannath on the chariot is considered very auspicious. It is also believed that if one gets an opportunity to touch the chariot, or even the ropes, then that person is absolved of sacrament for ages. The three deities are given a ritual bath on the Snan Vedi (an open platform), almost a fortnight before the Rath Yatra. Three chariots are decorated and lined on the day before the procession. On the day of the procession, the priests take out the festooned idols to the chariots. The first deity to come out is Lord Balabhadra, then Goddess Subhadra and the last and most-awaited Lord Jagannath. After the ceremony, Gajapati (the ceremonial king of Puri) comes and expresses his humility before God. With a golden broom, he cleans the chariots and showers holy water on them. After that, the procession of three deities towards the Gundicha Temple starts.