The 42nd Kolkata Rath Yatra, organized by ISKCON, was inaugurated by Chief Minister of West Bengal Smt. Mamata Banerjee and ISKCON sanyasis and senior disciples of Srila Prabhupada, Jayapataka Swami and Bhakti Charu Swami on July 10th. Bengali megastar actress Koyal Mullick was also present at the event. The three magnificent chariots carrying Lord Jagannath, Lord Baladev and Subhadra Devi rolled out from the Park Circus Maidan amidst the loud chant of Hare Krishna and Jay Jagannath.
Thousands of people had gathered to witness this mega event.
Jayapataka Swami and Bhakti Charu Swami addressed the devotees. They spoke about the significance of Rath Yatra festival and the benefits which one gets by participating in it. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was quite enthused with the devotional atmosphere; she too spoke on this occasion and promised to participate in all Rath Yatra festivals in the future.
Thousands of people were eagerly waiting en-route to have a glimpse of the Lord of the Universe and to pull the ropes.
The Rath Yatra procession reached Brigade ground after covering around 10 km at 6 p.m. Here a makeshift Gundicha temple has been built, where the Lord will stay till 18th July. During these days various cultural programs will be held.
Rath Yatra is one of the most important festivals. In Rath Yatra everyone can participate irrespective of caste, creed, religion and nationality. It gives the message of universal peace and brotherhood.
About the author: Purushottam Kumar is a member of the congregation at ISKCON Kolkata. He works as a Senior Business Associate in Tech Mahindra, Kolkata.[ kolkata ] [ ratha-yatra ] [ yatra ]