ISKCON Mayapur celebrates Rath Yatra

Almost a lakh people thronged to take darshan and pull the carts of Jagannath, Baladev, Subhadra to commemorate the annual Rath Yatra festival at the global spiritual headquarters of International Society for Krishna Consciousness at Mayapur, Nadia.  Besides this almost 1000 devotees from  62 countries braved the hot and humid conditions and  loudly sang kirtans and danced all through the 6km stretch of Rath Yatra from Rajapur Jagannath temple to Gundicha temple, a grand structure constructed adjacent to Prabhupad Ghat at Mayapur. The jolly faces bubbling with enthusiasm included large number of children, women, and even elders, who could barely walk. Subroto Das, Media Spokesperson of ISKCON Mayapur said the beauty of Rath Yatra festival at Mayapur is that it integrates people and spreads feeling of love and compassion among them. People of different caste, creed, colour, nationalities, religion celebrate the festival with zeal and fervour.

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 As per established scriptures Lord Jagannath alongwith His siblings travel once a year to His aunt’s place, the Gundicha temple, and stays there for 9 days.   The proceedings began at around 2.00pm in afternoon at Rajapur Jagannath temple amidst blowing of conch-shells and drum beats in a rhythmic manner. Bunch of shaved head devotees began the rituals by carrying the deities from temple to their respective carts, popularly known as “Pahandi Vijay”.Three decorated chariots of Lord Jagannath, Baladev, Subhadra Devi were tugged by thousands of devotees, pilgrims, tourists and foreigners from various countries. They jostled to get an opportunity to touch the ropes of the carts all  along the BhaktiSiddhanta Saraswati Marg enroute to the Gundicha temple. As the wheels of giant chariots began rolling down, cries of “Jai Jagannath” rented the air. The procession included Adivasi dance, Goba dance, Chota Bhim, Dorimon and two tableaus depicting the Kalia Daman and Annat Sesh Lila of Lord Krishna. Delicious Prasadam was distributed to all during the entire journey.  The Rath was pulled through the streets of holy Dham of Mayapur people flocked on roads, went up to roof tops to have a glance of their beloved Lord Jagannath seated on His decked up cart.

The Rath Yatra was inaugurated by Hon’ble Justice  Sri Sambhudh Chakraborty of Kolkata High Court who said that Jagannath Rath Yatra signifies the progress of life and humanity. 

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