Rukuna Rath Yatra of Lord Lingaraj in Bhubaneswar is one of the biggest festival of the city.The Chariot Festival of Lord Lingaraja is celebrated at Bhubaneswar on the day of Ashokastami or Basanti Durga Puja.The festival takes place in the month of Chaitra (March-April) the day preceding Ramanavami.On the day of Ashokastami 3 deities i.e. Chandrasekhar – the representative of lord Lingaraja, Rukmini & Basudeva are ceremonially brought to ascend chariot.After that the chariot is drawn to Rameswara temple and remained there for four days called Gundicha Gharand on the fifth day the three deities start the return journey called Bahuda. While returning the Chariot is drawn to the temple from the backside without having any turn (The Chariot does not take a turn. The altar of the deities is only changed). For that there is a saying in Odia : ” Rukuna Ratha Ana leuta ” which means the chariot of Rukuna or Rukmini (Rukmini and Basudeva also sat in the Chariot along with Chandra Sekhar) never turns back.
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