During early ages, I used to pull the rope of the customised Rath and used to drive the chariot down the streets. Now I participate in the Rath Yatra Festival, snapping , dancing , singing and rejoicing. It was my first time participating in the ISKCON Kolkata Rath Yatra Festival. Though the event was not as large as compared to that of at Jagannath Dham Puri, but yet was not that less. It was beyond my imagination that such an event would be organised in such a massive scale. The music will let you dance on your feet, the chanting of hymns and the energy flow will let you give goosebumps. Several dance troops performed at the event prior to be inaugurated by Mamata Banerjee, Hon'ble CM of West Bengal.
There are several myths about the origin of the event. One such popular myth was when Krishna was cremated after his death in Dwarka, his elder brother Balaram and his sister were too saddened and wanted to depart from this mortal world. They drowned themselves in the ocean along with the partially cremated body. At the same time King Indradyumna of Puri dreamt about Lord's body would float upto the shores, build a massive wooden statue of the trio and place the last remains inside it. Later his dream came true and he took the ashes of his body with himself. It's said that Vishwakarma disguised himself in the form of an old carpenter who made it clear that no one should disturb him until he finishes the work , otherwise he would be vanished. Months passed by but no news of completion. The king got restless and opened the door of Vishwakarma's room to find him nowhere and unfinished statues of the trio. This may be the reason why the hands and legs are missing from the statues. The king sanctified them with the last remains of Krishna and placed the statues inside the temple.
I also got to know from one of my friend from Puri that possibly the remains are still there in the hollow chambers inside the statues and are not permitted to be seen with naked eye. The highest ranked priest places it inside the new statues every year being blindfolded.
Lord Jagannath with his siblings visit their Aunt's place in Rath termed to be Rath Yatra and return to the origin after 1 week named to be Ulto Rath .
May be now it's easier for me to relate Dwarika (Gujarat) and Vrindavan (Uttar Pradesh) with Puri (Odisha). One being the birthplace(Vrindavan) , other being the capital city (Dwarika) and the last being the resting place (Puri).