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For other uses, see Yatra (disambiguation).

Yātrā (Sanskrit: यात्रा, 'journey', 'procession'), in Hinduism and other Indian religions, generally means pilgrimage to holy places such as confluences of sacred rivers, places associated with Hindu epics such as the Mahabharata and Ramayana, and other sacred pilgrimage sites.[1] Tīrtha-yātrā refers to a pilgrimage to a holy site, and is generally undertaken in groups. One who goes on a yatra is known as a yatri. As per Vedic Hindu Dharma shastras a Yatri is supposed to do Yatra barefoot. He/she should travel without umbrellas,vehicles etc., to get the benefit of the Yatra. At present these rules are not followed by many pilgrims.

Description[edit]

A yatra is a kamya ritual; it is desirable, but not obligatory, for a Hindu to perform it. One can go on a yatra for a variety of reasons, including festivals, to perform rituals for one's ancestors, or to obtain good karma. To traditional Hindus, the journey itself is as important as the destination, and the hardships of travel serve as an act of devotion in themselves.[2] Visiting a sacred place is believed by the pilgrim to purify the self and bring one closer to the divine.[3]

In present times, yatras are highly organised affairs, with specialised tourism companies catering to the need of yatris. State governments are sometimes involved in the organisation of annual yatras, stipulating numbers, registering yatris, and regulating yatri traffic.[4][5] The Hindu sacred month of Shravan is also the time of the annual Kanwar Yatra, the annual pilgrimage of devotees of Shiva, known as Kanwaria make to Hindu pilgrimage places of Haridwar, Gaumukh and Gangotri in Uttarakhand to fetch holy waters of Ganges River, way back in 2003, 55 lakh pilgrims reach Haridwar.[6] Other important Tirtha pilgrimages are Char Dham Yatra, which involve Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri; Amarnath yatra in Jammu and Kashmir.

Other meanings[edit]

'Yatra' can also describe a procession, or any festival which figures a procession, such as Rath Yatra, where chariots are pulled in parade down the streets of Puri in Orissa. In modern times the word can be used to denote marches or demonstrations, for political, environmental or societal causes.[7][8][9]

The terms 'jatra' and 'zatra' are derived from yatra.

Famous Hindu Yatra[edit]

Kasi yatra: It is the greatest of all the yatras.It is customary for every Hindu to undergo Kasi yatra on barefoot. Firstly, Saikatha pooja is done at Rameshwaram and the sand collected is immersed in Holy Ganges at Triveni Sangamam at Allahabad where Ganga, Yamuna & Saraswati meet. After Kashi Vishvanath Darshan, Ganga water is collected to do Ganga Abisheka to Lord Ramanathaswamy at Rameshwaram which is a Jyothirlinga. Pilgrims also visit Gaya to do Gaya Shraddha to their ancestors. Kasi yatra is completed only after performing abisheka to Ramanathaswamy at Rameshwaram. Details regarding how to perform various rituals,greatness of kashi kshetra,Importance of Kasi yatra are said in Kasi-Khand of Skaanda Puranam.

Mansarovar Yatra: Mansarovar is a beautiful and highest fresh-water lake in the world situated in Tibet. Mount Kailash, a place of pilgrimage attracting religious people from India and neighboring countries. The Mount Kailash is considered a sacred place in four religions Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Bon. According to Hindu mythology mount Kailash is the abode of Lord Shiva and circumambulating Mount Kailash on foot is a holy ritual. Another lake called Lake Rakshastal lying close to the west of Lake Manasarovar and The Great Mount Kailash. These lakes are the source of the Brahmaputra River and the Karnali River a tributary of the Holy river Ganges.

Amarnath Yatra: The Amarnath Temple in Jammu and Kashmir is dedicated to one of the holy trinity God “Lord Shiva“. The temple is on Amarnath mountain and Amarnath caves are most famous shrines in Hinduism. Every year inside the main Amarnath cave an Ice Shiva Lingam forms, along with two other ice formations representing Shri Ganesh and Maa Parvati. Amarnath yatra is held every year to pay homage to Lord Shiva and Maa parvati. The temple is a very popular yatra destination for Hindus, about 4 lakh people visit during the season.

Pandharpur Yatra: The Palkhi Festival Of Maharashtra is one of the most popular festivals in India. The annual Pandharpur Yatra to the famous Vithoba temple at Pandarpur held every year during the month of June and July. Thousands of pilgrims come to Pandharpur with carry Palkhis with the images of the saints of Maharashtra Sant Dyaneshwar from Alandi, Sant Tukaram’s from Dehu, Eknath’s from Paithan, and Nivruttinath’s from Trimbakeshwar. These pilgrims are referred to as Warkaris, they worship Vithoba an incarnation of Vishnu.

Ratha Yatra: The Festival of Chariots of Lord Jagannatha, held every year at Puri in the state of Orissa. The 10 day’s ratha yatra is commemorates Lord Jagannath’s, annual visit to Gundicha mata’s temple a short distance away. Thousands of pilgrims come to puri during the festival with a desire to help pull Lords chariot with ropes. This is the only day when devotees who are not allowed in the temple premises such as non-Hindus and foreigners, can get their glimpse of the deities.

Deoghar Yatra: Om Namah Shivai ! Deoghar means abode of the Gods and Goddesses, It is also known as Baidyanath Dham or Baba Dham situated on the eastern side of Jharkhand. It is an important Hindu pilgrimage center having Baidyanath Temple one of the twelve Lord Shiva Jyothirlingams in India. The pilgrims carry the holy water of holy river Ganges from Sultanganj’s and offered to the Jyotirlingam of Lord Shiva at Deoghar. These pilgrims called Kanwariya, reciting Bol Bam on the way of walk 109 KM, The march of Kanwariya start during the holy month of Shravan the wet season each year in India. Shravani Mela is the most celebrated 30-day festival in Deoghar Baidyanath Temple of Jharkhand.

Char Dham Yatra: The Chardham belongs to four pilgrimage places in India, They are Badrinath, Dwarka, Jagannath Puri, and Rameshwaram. The Char Dham are often considered the most revered sites for Hindus that have to be visited in one’s lifetime. There is a Chota Char Dham as well includes Yamunotri, Gangotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath situated in Garhwal Himalayas.

84 kosi parikrama: The 84-Kosi Yatra is a tradition in hindu religion that has been there for thousands of years with the belief that it gives deliverance to the performer from the cycle of 84-Lakh Yonis (the cycle of birth and death). According to Hindu belief, the king of Ayodhya performed the "yagna" in the "treta period" at a place in Makhurha in Basti district of Uttar Pradesh which included circumnavigating the six districts in the region. Some religious leaders believe that the right place to start the parikrama should be Basti instead of Ayodhya. According to some, the dates for 84-Kosi Yatra are fixed and takes place in the month of Chaitra.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Juergensmeyer, Mark (2006). The Oxford Handbook of Global Religions. U.S.: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-513798-1. 
  2. ^ Fowler, Jeaneane D. (1997). "Yatra: Pilgrimage". Hinduism: Beliefs and Practices. Sussex Academic Press. ISBN 1-898723-60-5. 
  3. ^ Timothy, Dallen J.; Daniel H. Olsen (2006). Tourism, Religion and Spiritual Journeys. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-35445-5. 
  4. ^ "Amarnath Yatra". Office of Divisional Commissioner, Jammu and Kashmir Government. 
  5. ^ Singh Ahluwalia, Manjit. "Holy Chhari or Manimahesh Yatra". Social, Cultural and Economic History of Himachal Pradesh. Indus Publishing. ISBN 81-7387-089-6. 
  6. ^ "SPOTLIGHT: The long walk for worship". Frontline (magazine), (The Hindu). Volume 21 - Issue 17, Aug. 14 - 27, 2004. 
  7. ^ "Jal Adhikar Yatra Takes Off". The South Asian. September 10, 2006. 
  8. ^ "'Save Noyyal Yatra' draws good crowd". The Hindu Business Line. October 3, 2005. 
  9. ^ "India's rally for Right to Education - Shiksha Adhikar Yatra". Global Call to Action Against Poverty. July 3, 2007. 

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yatra — Please support Wikipedia.
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Indian Express

Indian Express
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 13:48:45 -0700

Sindhkhed Raja is the birthplace of warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji's mother Jijabai. Pankaja explained her decision to begin the yatra from here: “It was my father's dream that I should contest from this Assembly segment. I am not contesting from ...

Hindustan Times

Hindustan Times
Fri, 22 Aug 2014 03:30:00 -0700

The procession, named Nanda Devi Rajjat Yatra, held 12 yearly, got off to a traditional start from Nauti village in Chamoli, about 205 km from Dehradun, the capital of Uttarakhand on Monday. It will culminate at Homkund after coursing down Juragali ...

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The Hindu
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 13:48:45 -0700

Less than three weeks after they were denied permission to undertake the historical Kousar Nag yatra, a group of Kashmiri Pandits on Tuesday reapplied for permission to undertake the pilgrimage through south Kashmir's Kulgam district. This comes four ...

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Times of India
Sun, 17 Aug 2014 10:15:00 -0700

The 280-km long yatra that is held after every 12 or 13 years to offer special prayers to the goddess Nanda Devi — an incarnation of Lord Shiva's wife goddess Parvati — will be inaugurated by Uttarakhand governor Aziz Qureshi at the Nauti village.

Indiatimes.com

Indian Express
Sun, 10 Aug 2014 14:45:00 -0700

The 44-day-long Amarnath Yatra to the holy cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas ended Sunday, with nearly four lakh pilgrims paying obeisance to the ice-Shivlingam this year. Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra, Mahant Dipendra Giri and a group ...
 
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Fri, 22 Aug 2014 03:41:15 -0700

Giving a reason for officials to smile, more than 900 pilgrims have visited Kailash Mansarovar in Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) this year, setting a new record of sorts. The yatra is an annual affair which passes through Uttarakhand and goes till ...
 
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Tue, 26 Aug 2014 11:11:15 -0700

Srinagar, August 26: The Governor N.N.Vohra, Chairman of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, held a meeting today to review the outcome of post-Yatra sanitation drive which was undertaken in the Yatra area, after the conclusion of Amarnath Yatra 2014.
 
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Wed, 27 Aug 2014 11:11:15 -0700

It was decided that, to encourage the Yatris and Service Providers to voluntarily collect plastic bottles and other non-biodegradable waste elements, a scheme should be launched next year, in the entire Yatra area, in which any person who collects from ...
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