This “yatra” (or the great chariot journey) commences from Puri in Odisha every year. This journey comes in the month of Ashad, the second part of the Shukla party. In Puri and in Ahmedabad (Gujrat) this “Yatra” is made.
Lord Jagannath is a form of God Vishnu only. In Sanskrit, the meaning of Jagannath is made up of two words, the first world i.e., the “world” and the second “Nath” meaning God. Lord Jagannath, who is believed to be the incarnation of Vishnu, are born in the form of Lord Krishna, and Lord Vishnu's Dwapar era. Why are chariots traveling?
In this “Rath yatra”, three siblings leave for the journey together. Two brothers and one sister -Lord Krishna, Baldev, and Subhadra. According to the Puranas, the reason for the commencement of the journey is: "After marriage, Subhadra used to come to her maternal house, and she used to go to take a tour of the city with her brothers. The three brothers and sister used to roam together on a chariot. The “yatra” takes its base from this practice.
One legend behind this Rath Yatra goes that, the Gopis (or the girls of lord Krishna’s village, Gokul) used to be await their meeting with Lord Krishna very eagerly. Some of them could not see him because of their menstruation cycle. Due to this, Lord Krishna promised everyone that he would offer his glimpse or “darshana” once in a year so that anyyone could see him in any situation. That is why whenever the chariotcomes, women and men make sure that they touch it with their hands.
This time 141th “Rath Yatra” from Puri has started from yesterday, 14th July 2018, which turns out to be the second part of the Shukla party in the month of Ashad. The magnificent Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath takes place for nine days, and after the 9-day festival, Lord Jagannath is situated in the Jagannath temple.