Lord Jagannath is a manifestation of Vishnu, although not a very official one. He is famous for the enormous holy chariot used during the Ratha Yatra festival at Orissa in India. One of three vast vehicles, it transports the wooden Jagannath idol bearing the heart of Krishna and is a real danger to other road-users. For starters, it’s around fifty feet high and takes several days to accelerate from zero to crawling pace.
The chariot itself is a thing of wonder — a sixteen-wheeled wooden leviathan constructed with over eight hundred pieces and decorated with brightly colored cloths. It also has the alternative name Jagganatha, but this could be a dodge to avoid paying vehicle license.
The Jagannath parade is notorious in the west for one particular reason. According to legend, the truly devout used to throw themselves under the wheels in religious fervor and get crushed to death. This gave rise to Hindu road accidents with not a scrap of motor insurance. However, this could all be a catalog of nonsensical reportage dating from the mid nineteenth century when people would believe anything they read in the newspapers.
Despite all this, nowadays the word JUGGERNAUT is still a byword for road-clogging, hogging and gridlock. The name is not taken in vain amongst the heavy goods vehicle fraternity.
Jagannath Facts and Figures
Pronunciation: Coming soon
Alternative names: Jagganath, Juggernaut
Gender: Sorry, we don't know
Celebration or Feast Day: Unknown at present
Role: Unknown at present
Good/Evil Rating: OKAY, not bad
Popularity index: 3095
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Article last revised on September 18, 2018 by Rowan Allen.
Editors: Peter J. Allen, Chas Saunders
References: Coming soon.