The Rath Yatra of Nashik is a 15-day festival that begins from Shri Kalaram Mandir on the occasion of Ramnavmi, the birth of Lord Rama. It begins on the first day of Chaitra (usually falling in March or April), and lasts till Chaitra Purnima, the night of the full moon.

Thousands of pilgrims descend upon Nashik to participate in the festivities, and join the Rath Yatra, which starts on the second day, winding its way down the main city. The primary chariot, known as Ramrath, is quite heavy and meticulously cared for. A smaller chariot known as the Garudarath is also paraded down the streets of Nashik.

The whole rath consists of five links � the one to lead is the bullock cart of Sanai, followed by the palakis (chariots) of Shri Ramachandra, then by the Pujadhikari, and the Garudarath, with the Ramrath bringing the rear. The Pujadhikari walks facing the Ramrath the entire time, while the rath sevaks (helpers) pull the chariots with the help of a long rope, and a wooden rod known as dhuri.

The yatra makes a two-hour stop at River Godavari, where Ganga Snan takes places (the idol of Lord Rama is bathed in the holy waters of the river). The pilgrims finally make their way back to Kalaram Mandir, where the yatra officially comes to an end in the wee hours of the morning.

The Rath Yatra is a display of spirituality at its finest, with devotees pouring in from all parts of the globe to participate in and witness this spectacle.

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