RATH YATRA

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Location: Nashik
Presiding Deity: Lord Ramachandra
Raths Used: Ramrath And Garudarath


Lord Ramachandra stayed for more than 12 years in the area known as Panchavati in Nashik. The temple of Kalaram at this place is a famous temple and this place is known as "Tirth Shetra".

The Janmotsava is celebrated by the Sansthan Shri Kalaram Mandir, Panchavati every year. The celebrations begin from the first day of Chaitra till the Chaitra Purnima, spanning 15 days. The Janmotsava takes place exactly at 12.00hrs (in the noon) and this occasion is witnessed by thousands of pilgrims.

The Rathyatra

The main attraction of the Janmotsava is on the second day when the Rathyatra starts from the east door of the temple moving through the city of Nashik. The Rathyatra starts at about 4.30 p.m. with the Shri Ramrath and Shri Garuda Rath.

The Rathyatra is made up of 5 links, 1st is the bullock cart of Sanai / Choughada, followed by the Palkhi of Shri Ramachandra, Pujadhikari, Garudarath (the rath of Lord Hanuman) and finally the Ramrath (the rath of Lord Rama).

The Pujadhikari walks all the way during the Rathyatra by facing towards the rath with folded hands. He fasts on all the days from day one of the Chaitra to the Rathyatra. Both the Raths are pulled by the Rath Sevakas (servants) who belong to different institutes with the help of a heavy rope. The Raths have a big wooden round rod known as "Dhuri".

The Ramrath is a heavy rath and was prepared by Shrimant Peshwan in the year 1785 and handed over to Sardar. The management of the Ramrath was handed over to Raste Akhada, Panchavati. The volunteers of this 'Akhada' took full responsibility of this rath. The other rath i.e., Garud rath belongs to Sansthan Shri Kalaram Mandir. This Rath is slightly smaller than Ramrath both by height and weight. The management of this Garud Rath on the particular day of the Rathyatra is handled by Shri Ahilya Ram Vayam Shala.

There is a Ganga Snan (bathing of the idol of Lord Ram in the holy water of the Ganges) given to Shri Ramchandra while the Rathyatra halts for a period of two hours at the holy Godavari, named as Avabrutha Snan. This has been made festive at the holy Ramghat by bursting crackers supported by colourful lightings.

There are thousands of pilgrims who attend this auspicious Rathyatra every year. The Rathyatra ends late in the night at about 2' O-clock at the same place from when it began.

HOW TO GET THERE

Rail: Nashik is one of the major railway stations on the central railway and there are a number of convenient trains that connect Nashik to other cities and towns.

Road: Nashik is 185-km from Mumbai and can be reached by motoring on the NH-3 via Thane-Kasar-Igatpuri. Pune-Nashik is 220-km. There are several private and state buses available between Mumbai/Thane and Nashik. For local transportation city buses, taxis, and auto's are available.

WHERE TO STAY

Accommodation is available at the hotels in Nashik.



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