Every year the
annual car festival is held at Jagarnathpur with great pomp and ceremony. The ceremonials
follow the customs and ceremonials at Puri. On the Rathayatra day thousands of people
congregate and the idols are placed with due ceremonials in the Raths (chariots). Just as
the Raja of Puri ceremoniously sweeps the platforms of the chariots, the head of the
family of the ex-Raja of Barkagarh sprinkles scented water and sweeps.
After this the
excited men, women and children accompanied with loud music of drums and cymbals, draw the
chariot. The chariots with the deities of Lord Jagarnath, Balarama and Subhadra are taken
to the Mousi Bari (aunt's house) where they remain for a week. After a week, on the
Ultaratha day, the chariots are pulled back with the same festivities.
The Rathayatra at Jagarnathpur is the biggest religious and social event connected with
any religious creed in the Ranchi district. At the lowest estimate, about thirty thousand
people visit the area and take part in the festival in some way or other. The tribals
freely join in pulling the ropes of the chariots and worshipping the deities. As a matter
of fact, the Rathayatra festival is exercising a very stronginfluence in Hinduising the