Rath Yatra 2023 - 7 Traditional Dishes Served To Lord Jagannath
Image Credit: Facebook/Foodie_Odisha

One of the most important festivals in Odisha and among Indian Vaishnavs, the Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra 2023 is all set to commence today. The Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra is held every year around June-July to celebrate the emergence of Lord Jagannath and his siblings, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra, from the temple of Puri for a trip around their domains. Also known as the Gundicha Yatra or Chariot Festival, this auspicious journey by the gods begins on the second day of the bright fortnight of the Hindu month of Ashadha. 

To mark the occasion of Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra, devotees from across Odisha, Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar and other Indian regions flock to the seaside town of Puri. The chariots, called Nandighosha, Taladhwaja and Darpadalan, on which the idols of the Lord Jagannath and his siblings are placed for their journey are pushed by these devotees. During this festive time, the temples, sweet shops and eateries in and around Puri focus on Lord Jagannath’s favourite foods. 

These foods, ranging from sweet to savoury, are not only parts of Lord Jagannath’s special Chappan Bhog or 56 Bhog, but are also popular delicacies from Odisha that devotees and tourists must try.  


Khaja is one of the most famous dishes from Puri, Odisha, and is included in the Chappan Bhog or 56 Bhog for Lord Jagannath, as Lord Jagannath is often called. Made with wheat flour, ghee, sugar and flavoured with cardamom powder, Khaja is a layered and deep-fried dish. Because it is dipped in sugar syrup and flaky, this Khaja is extremely popular as an offering for Lord Jagannath as well as for a snack or treat for devotees. 

Tanka Torani 

This ancient drink is not only offered to Lord Jagannath in some circles, but also heavily consumed by devotees during the Jagannath Rath Yatra. Nutritious and perfect for summers, this drink is made with curd, rice water, lemon leaves, green chillies and fermented. After the fermentation process, this Tanka Torani drink is not only turned into a mild local alcohol, but also cools the body down internally. 


A variation of the traditional Malpua, this sweet dish called Amalu is prepared as one of the Mahaprasads at the Puri Jagannath temple, and is a compulsory part of Lord Jagannath’s Chappan Bhog. The ingredients used are wheat flour, bananas, cardamom, coconut, milk and fennel seeds. At the Jagannath Puri temple, specific vessels are used to cook up this auspicious sweet dish. 


Another local sweet treat that is offered to Lord Jagannath at the Jagannath Puri temple, this one is a form of puffed rice. The puffed rice for Ukhuda are dry roasted and sweetened with jaggery, coconut and carom seeds. Because Ukhuda is dry, it is one of the most popular Mahaprasads at the temple and can be easily carried back gome for family and friends as it stays fresh for 15 days. h for 15 days! 

Chhena Poda 

Odisha is famed for Chhena Poda, but did you know that it is a festive special dish during Jagannath Rath Yatra? A special variety of cottage cheese or chhena is prepared across homes and sweet shops, which is caramelized using sugar. This one takes hours to whip up, which is what makes it extra special with a unique depth of flavours. 


Yet another sweet treat from Odisha cuisine, Rasabali is also a part of Lord Jagannath’s Chappan Bhog at the Jagannath Puri temple. This one is made with local chhena, which is deep-fried and then flavoured with cardamom and milk. Available across sweet shops and as a Mahaprasad at the Jagannath Puri temple, this unique sweet dish is a must have. 


This one is the Odia version of Khichdi and is also a part of the Chappan Bhog and Mahaprasad at the Jagannath Puri temple. Cooked with rice and lentils flavoured with bay leaf, cinnamon, sugar and some coconut, this Khechadi is a unique version of Khichdi steeped in local flavours. Simple and yet satiating, this one is loved by devotees and Lord Jagannath alike.