on Nov. 22, 2008
The unmistakable red and yellow canopy of Lord Jagannath’s Rathayatra cart paraded through Ludhiana, Punjab this November 15th.
Teams of congregational members swept in front of the cart with golden brooms, while children dressed as Krishna and his gopi girlfriends performed classical stick dances. Thousands of devotees danced and chanted down the streets, which were etched with ornate chalk patterns. The parade lasted all day, covering the six kilometer route in eight hours.
Afterwards, crowds thronged in the main square, decorated with Jagannath posters and banners, as various dignitaries ascended the stage. Mr. Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister of the state of Himachal Pradesh appeared as the chief guest. And GBC member Gopal Krishna Goswami offered the ceremonial arati to the deities of Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra.
A host of other ISKCON dignitaries also participated, including Vedavyasapriya Swami, renowned kirtan leader Vaiyasaki dasa, and zonal secretary Mahaman Dasa.
The Rathayatra was well attended, drawing devotees from New Delhi, Kuruksetra, Chandigarh, Vrindavan, and Kolkatta. Devotees also traveled from other countries, including USA, Russia, Uzbekistan and the Ukraine.