Every year, Lord Jagannath travels with his elder brother Balaram (Balabhadra) and sister Subhadra on grand chariots. The festival begins early in the morning with the invocation ceremony and continues all day. Pulling the chariots to make them roll is considered to be the most auspicious part of the festival.

Some people attribute the origin of Rath Yatra custom to the Buddhist ritual of the similar nature that has been documented in the manuscripts of the Chinese traveler and historian Fa Hien in the