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Fact Check: Old Video Of Jagannath Rath Yatra Falsely Claims To Show Devotees From Janakpur Heading Towards Ayodhya

Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become essential today than ever before.

Claim
Video claims to show a huge mass of people from Nepal’s Janakpur heading towards Ayodhya to attend the consecration of the newly built Ram temple.
 Fact
Viral video is an old clip showing Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra in Odisha state of India.

Many unverified images and videos were being circulated on social media ahead of the consecration ceremony of Ram Lalla idol at the newly constructed temple in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh State of India.  In this context, a video allegedly showing a huge crowd of people from Janakpur in Nepal heading to attend the consecration of the newly built Ram Temple in Ayodhya, India, is going viral on TikTok.

Janakpur in Nepal is believed to be the place where Hindu Lord Ram’s wife Sita was born. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated in the consecration rituals at the newly built Temple in Ayodhya on Monday (January 22) amid grand celebrations.

Against this backdrop, TikTok user @ravindramira posted a video showing a huge crowd of people taking part in an apparent religious gathering. Text superimposed on the video reads, “Janakpur to Ayodhya. Devotees heading to Ayodhya from Janakpur Nepal. Let’s go to Ram temple in India, Ram devotees.”

The video posted on January 12 has garnered 73.5k likes, 1981 users have shared it and 2019 people have commented on it.The archived version of the TikTok video can be seen here.
Newschecker found the claim to be misleading.

Fact Check /Verification

To check the veracity of the claim made in the viral video, Newschecker split the video into several key frames and conducted reverse searches on them.  A reverse search on a frame led us to an article carrying an image whose frame resembled the viral video published on Mint online. The article dated June 21, 2023, showed a view of the annual Hindu festival known as Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra held in Puri of Odhisha state in India.

Taking a clue from the article, we dug further and found several short videos (see here, here & here) on YouTube whose frames exactly matched the viral video. However, we couldn’t establish the origin of the viral video.

We, then, took a key frame from a short video posted on a YouTube channel named Shiwani Kundu in July 2022. The search led us to another video, dated July 12, 2021, posted on a Facebook account named ‘Bholenath Ke Dewanee’. The video frame including the time exactly matched the viral video and the caption read, “Jagannath Ji”, but we could not independently verify when the video showing the annual Jagannath Rath Yatra was captured. 

Thus, our findings show that the viral Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra in Odisha state of India. Since the video is old it is not related to the recent events of Ram Mandir consecration ceremony in Ayodhya.

Conclusion

The viral video doesn’t show Hindu devotees from Janakpur district in Nepal heading to Ayodhya in India for the consecration of the newly built Ram temple. The video actually shows old footage of Jagannath Rath Yatra in Odisha.

Result: False

Sources
Mint online, June 21, 2023
Bholenath Ke Diwanee /Facebook, June , 2021
Hindi Talk TV/YouTube , June 2023
Shiwani Kundu /YouTube, July 6, 2022


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Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become essential today than ever before.

Sanjeeb Phuyal
Sanjeeb Phuyal
Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become essential today than ever before.

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