Rath Yatra symbolizes the returning of Shri Krishna to Mathura – Vrindavana town alongwith his brother balram and sister Subhadra on chariot which was pulled by people of braj .
As per the legends shri Krishna & balram left Mathura – Vrindavana after killing of Demon Kansa to Dwarka. Absense of Krishna from Braj broke the heart of people of Braj region especially gopis and radha his lover. They kept on waiting for Krishna to return to Mathura but he was busy performing other miracles out of braj region. Then on the day of eclipse they found Krishna in Kurushetra and they started pulling his chariot themselves and brought him home. Since then it became the festival when devotees of Krishna ( lord Jagannath ) celebrate by pulling his chariot themselves.
|Rath-Yatra festival at Vrindavan, Mathura|
According to another legend, this Rath Yatra symbolizes the Suryanarayana (The Sun God) nature of Lord Jagannath. During the Rath Yatra it is believed that Lord Shri Jagannath, Shrimati Subhadra and Shri Balaram visit their devotees and bless them as they tour through the city seated in their Chariots. Lord Krishna’s arrival in Braj is celebrated by this Rath Yatra. This festival is celebrated in Many Krishna temples in India ( Especially in south India ).
In vrindavan , Rath yatra festival is a part of Brahmotsava in Rangaji Temple of Lord Jagannath. Other famous temples in vrindavan Madan Mohan Temple, Govind Dev Temple and Gopinath Temple also take out rath yatra of thakur ji. During rath yatra festivals folk people dance with joy, sing and chant the name of Krishna. The atmosphere of vrindavana gets filled with reverence and devotion. Rath yatra of lord Krishna is also celebrated in Mathura at Shri Dwarikadhish temple within temple complex.
This year Rath yatra will be celebrated on June 29, 2014 Sunday in Various temples of Vrindavan.