+

Mamata Banerjee Offers Prayers At ISKCON Temple For Rath Yatra Festival

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inaugurated the Rath Yatra festival at the ISKCON Temple on Albert Road near Minto Park. She participated in the Aarti ceremony, offering prayers to Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra, and joined in pulling the chariots of the deities. The temple’s inauguration festivities included various religious functions and rituals. […]

Jagannath Rath Yatra
Jagannath Rath Yatra

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inaugurated the Rath Yatra festival at the ISKCON Temple on Albert Road near Minto Park. She participated in the Aarti ceremony, offering prayers to Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra, and joined in pulling the chariots of the deities. The temple’s inauguration festivities included various religious functions and rituals.

 

Following the inauguration, the three chariots commenced their 6 km journey from Gurusaday Road to Brigade Parade Ground. The procession traversed major thoroughfares such as Hungerford Street, AJC Bose Road, Sarat Bose Road, Hazra Road, Syama Prasad Mookerjee Road, Ashutosh Mukherjee Road, Chowringhee Road, Exide Crossing, and JL Nehru Road.

Thousands of devotees from diverse backgrounds arrived in Kolkata on Saturday morning to participate in the grand event.

Historical Significance and Preparation

The Rath Yatra festival has deep historical roots, with mentions in ancient Puranas. The intricately crafted chariots, sculpted meticulously over months, symbolize the journey of Lord Jagannath, an incarnation of Lord Krishna, to his maternal aunt’s home at Gundicha Mandir.

Security and Crowd Management

Kolkata police made extensive arrangements to ensure safety and manage large crowds, preventing traffic congestion along the procession route. Senior police officials, including a Deputy Commissioner, oversaw the deployment of around 1,500 police personnel, including plainclothes officers and women officers for added security.

Anticipated Attendance and Future Events

Radharaman Das, vice president of ISKCON Kolkata, mentioned that the Rath Yatra route extends 6 to 7 kilometers from the ISKCON Temple and that the “Ulta Rath Yatra” will follow on July 15. He noted that last year’s event drew approximately 2 million devotees, with expectations of around 2.3 to 2.4 million attendees this year.

This 53rd edition of the iconic chariot festival coincides with the 150th birth anniversary of His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada Maharaj, adding special significance to the celebrations.

Tags:

ISKCON KolkataJagannath Rath YatraKolkata NewsMamata BanerjeeReligious FestivitiesTDGThe Daily Guardian