Rath Yatra of ‘Mahesh’

Image Courtesy - Chiradeep Mukhopadhyay/flickr.com

The Rath Yatra of “Mahesh” is the second oldest Chariot Festival in India (after the Rath Yatra at Puri) and the oldest and biggest in Bengal. It is being celebrated since 1397 AD. at Mahesh, located near Serampore town. It is a week-long festival along with a grand fair occurs during the eve of Rath Yatra of Lor Jagannath Dev. People gather here in large numbers to have a share in pulling the long ropes (Roshi) attached to the chariots of Lord Jagannath, Balaram and Subhadra, all through the onward journey from the temple to ‘Gundicha Bari’ at Serampur and back. This festival is not only the oldest but also the biggest Rath yatra in Bengal. Nearly 2 – 3 lakh people come in Mahesh to visit the fair & enjoy the festival. Lord goes to ‘Gundicha Temple’ at Serampore and remains there till ‘Punaryatra’ which is popularly known as ‘Ulto Rath’ in Bengal.