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Rath Yatra

The Rath Yatra of Panchavati, Nasik is one of the major attractions of the city. It is held during Ramnavami which falls on the first day of the Chaitra month and lasts till Chaitra Poornima.

The Ramnavami Rath Yatra is a major event held during the festival of Jan Mahotsava of Shri Kalaram Mandir at Panchavati, Nasik. The festival lasts for 15 long days and normally begins on the first day of the Chaitra month according to the Hindu calendar. It lasts till Chaitra Poornima. Nasik City was the abode of Lord Rama during His exile from Ayodhya. That’s why the city is known as Tirth Kshetra or Pious or Holy Place.

History of the Rath Yatra

The Rath of Lord Rama is unusually heavy and sturdy and was built in the year 1785 by Shrimant Peshwan. At that time, the amount spent on its upkeep, repairs and maintenance was Rs.200 per year. The Garuda Rath is the property of the Kalaram Mandir. This Rath is a few inches smaller in both height and width and even weighs less. The volunteers of the Ahilya Rama Vayam Shale come out in large numbers to assist the Rath Yatra logistics on the day of the Yatra.

The Five Links of the Yatra

The Rah Yatra is undoubtedly the main attraction of the fortnight long festival. It takes place on the second day. The Yatra starts in the evening at around 5 PM and consists of Shri Rama Rath and Garuda Rath which is taken in a procession through the city. The Rath Yatra consists of five links. Its order is as follows:

  • The bullock cart of Sanai
  • The Palkhi of Lord Rama
  • The Pujadhikari or the main priest
  • The Rath of Lord Hanuman
  • The Rath of Lord Rama

The Rituals Followed During the Rath Yatra

The Rath of Lord Hanuman is placed before that of Lord Rama because Hanuman is regarded as one of the most ardent followers and disciples of Lord Rama. Both Rath are pulled by volunteers called sevaks with the help of thick, long ropes. The priest moves with the Rath all the way till the end of the Yatra.

The Message of the Rath Yatra

The whole focus of the Rath Yatra is that those devotees who were not able to see or partake in the events and programs happening at the temple will be able to experience the grandeur and magnificence of the rituals during the course of the Yatra. The Rath Yatra attracts thousands of disciples every year, not only from the nearby villages but also from far-flung places.

The Ganga Snan which involves bathing of the idol of Lord Rama in the holy Ganges is a part of the Yatra. The Yatra also takes a two-hour break at the Godavari River for the popular and pious Ava-Brutha Snan. The occasion is highly festive and is accompanied by bursting of fire crackers and decorative lighting at the Rama Ghats. The Yatra ends late in the night at around 2 AM at precisely the same place from where it started.

How to Reach

By Road

Nasik is approximately 185 km from Mumbai by road and can be reached in about three to four hours via the National Highway 3. From Pune, it is about 220 km. Private and state transport buses fly at a fairly frequent pace on the route.

By Rail

Nasik is a major railway station on the Central Railway line and is well-connected to the rest of Maharashtra.

Related Image

Best Time To Visit Rajasthan 1
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Best Time To Visit Rajasthan 1
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Best Time To Visit Rajasthan 1
Best Time To Visit Rajasthan 2

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