Home > Bengal Festival, Bengal History, General > Jadu Ghosh er Rath (Chariot of Jadu Ghosh), Chandannagar

Jadu Ghosh er Rath (Chariot of Jadu Ghosh), Chandannagar

Jadu Ghosh er Rath (Chariot of Jadu Ghosh)

Chandannagar

See also: Rath Yatras of West Bengal

When it comes to Rath (or Ratha) Yatra (Chariot Festival) the first thing that comes into mind is Puri, Orissa (Odissa). The towering raths (chariots) of Puri have almost become synonymous with Ratha Yatra.

Chandannagar Rath 9

Jadu Ghosh er Rath (Chariot of Jadu Ghosh), Chandannagar

But West Bengal, the neighbouring state of Orissa, also houses several Rath Yatra festivals, complete with towering raths. Some of this rath yatras dates back a couple of centuries and attracts devotees from far and wide.

Chandannagar Rath 1

Jadu Ghosh er Rath, read for the processin

Jadu Ghosh er Rath or Chariot of Jadu Ghosh is one such rath operating from the former French Colony of Chandannagar (Also see: Chandannagar, a slice of France)

According to historical record Jadavendu Ghosh popularly known as Jadu Ghosh was a flourishing rice merchant from Chnadannagar.

Legends says that during a pilgrimage to Puri in 1763 he fell ill on the way and was forced to return.

On his return he established a temple of Jagannath, Balaram and Subhadra in Lakshmigunj area of Chandannagar. Later the idols were immersed in the Ganga (Hoogly) and were replaced with wooden idols.

Chandannagar Rath 5

Jadu Ghosh er Rath, ready for the first tug

In 1774 (some sources say 1798) Jadu Ghosh  a rath out of neem wood, marking a journey that continues to this day.

Sadly the neem wood rath of Jadu Ghosh didn’t survive the test of time and was replaced in 1962.

In 1962 the Chandannagar Rath committee decided to replace the age old rath by a with metal rath built by Braithwet & Co. Ltd.

Funded by public contribution the rath was a replica of its previous counterpart and weighted a staggering 60 ton. An engineering marvel the rath runs on 14 wheels fitted with an unique breaking system.

Chandannagar Rath 7

Pullin the Jadu Ghosh er Rath, Chandannagar

After the introduction of the new rath the old rath was ceremoniously immersed in the Ganga (Hooghly) but a portion of the wooden ornamentation is preserved in the Chandannagar Museum.

Today the rath runs between the Lakshmiganj Temple and Taldanga More in Chandannagar along a narrow stretch of the G T Road. In some stretches the road is so narrow that the gigantic rath barely fits in. The rath lacks any sort of searing mechanism it has to be sometimes pulled back to set it in the right course.

The rath starts at about 3 pm and is pulled by two ropes. The two ropes are cordoned of  by another rope, this rope is operated by police and volunteers who restrict the number of persons pulling the rope.

Chandannagar Rath 3

A group of Kirtan Singers with the Jadu Ghosh er Rath, Chandannagar

Green and red flags along with LED lights provide signals to the chariot pullers along with oral instructions, delivered via the microphone. The rath is accompanied by a group of kirtan singers and a band party.

Chandannagar Rath 11

A small rath traces the path of Jadu Ghosh er Rath, Chandannagar

All though the Jadu Ghosh er Rath is pulled through a wild rampage through a narrow stretch of the road it is very well managed. The police, volunteers and the rath committee works hand in hand to prevent any mishap.

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  1. July 24, 2019 at 3:24 PM

    This is a long and old traditional culture still carried out. The people do know that rath is important and make it fully prepared. Along with that temples are decorated and on the road also. Keep up the good work.

  2. Beauti Das
    August 6, 2019 at 5:14 PM

    Conrtact number please

  3. August 22, 2019 at 4:00 PM

    Great article! Beautiful photography, Rath traces is beautiful.

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