The Jagannath triad is usually worshipped in the sanctum of the temple at Puri, but once a year, during the month of Asadha (monsoon – usually June or July), it is brought out onto the Bada Danda (main street of Puri) and taken 3 km onward, to the Shri Gundicha Temple, in huge chariots (ratha), allowing the public to have darshan(a view). This festival is known as Rath Yatra, meaning the journey of the chariots. The Rathas are huge wheeled wooden structures, which are built anew every year and are pulled by the devotees. The chariot for Jagannath is approximately 45 feet high and 35 feet square and takes about 2 months to construct. The artists and painters of Puri decorate the cars and paint flower petals and other designs on the wheels, the wood-carved charioteer and horses, and the inverted lotuses on the wall behind the throne . The massive chariots of Jagannath, pulled during Rath Yatra is the etymological origin of the English word Juggernaut.
The most significant ritual associated with the Ratha-Yatra is the chhera pahara (sweeping with water) . During the festival, the Gajapati King wears the outfit of a sweeper and sweeps all around the deities and chariots in the Chera Pahara (sweeping with water) ritual. The Gajapati King cleanses the road before the chariots with a gold-handled broom and sprinkles sandalwood water and powder with the utmost devotion.This ritual signifies that under the lordship of Jagannath, there is no distinction between the powerful sovereign Gajapati King and the most humble devotee.