LORD JAGANNATH RATH YATRA IN CHANDIGARH AND PANCHKULA (26th 27th November 2016)
The Chandigarh branch of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) organized two days festival of Lord Jagannath’s Rath Yatra in Chandigarh “the city beautiful” and Panchkula with great preparedness, enthusiasm and devotion. Hundreds of ISKCON devotees from all parts of the country and abroad had come for the Rath Yatra and it looked like a real cosmopolitan affair. 56 Bhogas were offered to Their Lordships Lord Jagannath, Lord Baladev & Devi Subhadra at Motor Market, Sector 28, Chandigarh on 26th November and NAC market, Manimajra on 27th of November before starting the Yatra and prominent members of the twin cities and devotees came from different parts of India and abroad worshiped Their Lordships.
Many Prominent leaders of the society and officers came to take the blessings of Lord Jagannath, the Lord the of the Universe. They also recoganized the services provided by the ISKCON and also appreciated ISKCON for its efforts to spread the message of Bhagavad Gita & Holy Names of the Lord all over the world which has changed the lives of lacs of people into Divinity.
Sh. Sanjay Tandon, Sh. Arun Sood (Mayor, Chandigarh) Sh, Rajiv Gupta (ADC Chandigarh) and a number of sanyasis swept the road before the Rath with golden brooms when other devotees started pulling the chariot carrying the deities of Lord Jagannath, Lord Baladeva and Devi Subhadra and Srila Prabhupada – the founder acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). Local people, who had turned out in large numbers, also joined the devotees in pulling the chariot, and in chanting and dancing before the Rath.
Also many foreign devotees especially from Russia & America sang & danced in front of Lord Jagannath.
As a large number of devotees were pulling the chariot, another group of devotees was busy ecstatically in Sankirtan and dancing before the chariot, while many volunteers of ISKCON were seen liberally distributing small packets of prasadam to all the participants and onlookers.
The main leaders of ISKCON who attended Rath Yatra and enlightened the public through their speech are:
- His Holiness Gopal Krishna Goswami, ISKCON Governing Body Commissioner & BBT Trustee
- H.H. Navayogendra Swami Mahraj, a very senior disciple of Srila Prabhupada
- His Holiness Prabodhanand Saraswati Swami from Vrindavan
- His Holiness Bhakti Asraya Vaishnava Swami from Vrindavan
- His Holiness Bhakti Anugraha Janardan Swami from Philippines
- H.G. Mahaman Das, Co-Zonal Secretary for ISKCON Chandigarh
- H.G. Sridham Das from Delhi who is a senior disciple of Srila Prabhupada
Other attractions of Rath Yatra are:
- 56 items of food offerings to Lord Jagannath.
- Feast for all the participants of public numbering around 8000 at the starting and conclusion of the Rath Yatra.
The Rath used in Rath Yatra has the following features:
- It is 50 feet high.
- It has a multi coloured canopy.
- It has a nice mechanical system to reduce or increase the height of Rath. It was made this way so as to reduce the height of Rath in case of any overhead wire or tree branch.
This type of special Rath was initially designed by an American ISKCON devotee H.G. Jayanand Das in 1967.