JHARSUGUDA: Car festival, the Rath Yatra is perhaps one of the biggest festivals that is performed by the people in every nook and corner of Orissa. But it is the Puri festival that attracts everyone who wishes to visit and to take part in the annual outing of Lord Jagannath, the Lord of Universe. But in a small village Kukurjangha, nearly 7 K.M. away from Jharsuguda Town, celebrates this Rath Yatra in a unique way.
Here, the annual outing of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra is being celebrated for 14 days. When the Rath Yatra is being finished at “Bahuda Dasami” also known as Bahuda Yatra , the return journey of Lord Jagannath everywhere in Odisha , here in Kukurjangha it stretches till the day of Purnima (Full Moon) i.e. another 5 days. The reason behind stretching the Yatra by five more days is still unknown. This is seen nowhere in Odisha where Lord’s car festival is observed till this day.
According to the priest of the Kukurjangha Jagannath Temple Brahmananda Dasji Maharaj, “The temple was built in the year 1215 by the Rampur Jamidar Family, since then the Rath Yatra is being celebrated in this way. All the rituals and tradition are similarly performed just like Puri Temple.”
Though this festival is more than 500 years old, it has been celebrated with one Chariot, but like Puri the chariot of Kukurjangha consists of 16 wheels equal to that of “Nandighosa” of Lord Jagannath, he adds.
But here, the pulling of chariot is also done in a unique way, everywhere in Odisha lord’s chariot is being pulled by ropes, but here the chariot is pulled with the help of long Bamboo sticks.
This Rath Yatra, is not only witnessed by the local villagers and but many devotees from neighboring states like, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand comes in huge number to witness this Rath Yatra.