Rathayatra is a huge festival for Lord Krishna and His devotees. An extraordinary chariot festival that originates in Jagannatha Puri on the east coast of India and dates back over 2,000 years.
Everyone chants the Hare Krishna maha-mantra and dances in cstacy as Krishna in His most merciful form of Jagannatha is pulled along on a huge wooden cart.
Ratha yatra, the Festival of Chariots of Lord Jagannatha is celebrated every year at Puri, the temple town in Odisha, on the east coast of India on the second (dwitiya) day of shukla pakshya (waxing cycle of moon) of Ashadh Maas(3rd month in Lunar Calendar). The presiding deities of the main temple, Lord Jagannatha, Lord Balarama and Goddess Subhadra, with the celestial wheel Sudarshana are taken out from the temple precincts in an elaborate ritual procession to their respective chariots. The huge, colourfully decorated chariots, are drawn by hundreds and thousands of devotees on the bada danda, the grand avenue to the Gundicha (King Indradyumna’s Queen) temple, some two miles away to the North. On their way to the Gundicha Temple, the three Lords are believed to stop for a while near the Mausima Temple(Aunt’s Abode) and have an offering of the Poda Pitha, which is a special type of pancake supposed to be the Lord’s favourite. After a stay for seven days, the deities return to their abode
The Ratha Yatra festival has become a common sight in most major cities of the world since 1968 through the ISKCON Hare Krishna movement. Its leader A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada successfully transplanted the festival which now happens on an annual basis in places all over the world in over 100 cities including Dublin, Belfast, Birmingham, London, Budapest, Melbourne, Montreal, Paris, New York, Singapore, Toronto, Antwerp, Kuala Lumpur and Venice, CA.
The original inner meaning of Rathayatra is very beautiful
In His time on this Earth, Krishna grew up in Vrindavana, and had great loving friendships there with all the residents, including the cowherd boys and girls. When Krishna grew up, He became a King and moved away from His childhood friends. After many years the residents of Vrindavana came to see Him. But He seemed so different to the mischevious cowherd boy they all knew and loved. So they kidnapped Him and tried to bring Him back to Vrindavana on a cart. Being with Krishna like this they felt simultaneous loving emotions of closeness and separation. The Rathayatra festival is a modern expression of this pastime.
ISKCON Rajahmundry Third Jagannatha Ratha Yatra
Iskcon Rajahmundry Conducted third Jaganatha Ratha Yatra on 19th March 2012 in Rajahmundry. In the auspicious presence of H.H.Srila Jayapataka Swami Gurumaharaj. H.H.Bhakti Dhira Damodara Swami, H.H.Bhakti Narasimha Swami and safari group of 150 ISKCON Devotees from 50 foreign countries participated and they performed cultural events for 3 days.People from all walks of life in Rajahmundry. Participated by singing bajans and pulling Jagannatha Ratha with enthusiasm. The special attraction is Rangavalli in different locations of the town and it is drawn by the ISKCON Pune Devotees. The Iskcon Temple Presidents of Tirupati, Vijayawada, Warangal, Narasarao Peta and Hyderabad have also Participated in this Event.
You can come and join in. The festival is only possible by the selfless assistance of many volunteers
For more details contact:
HARE KRISHNA LAND,
ANDHRA PRADESH – INDIA
MOBILE: 9441100815, 9666889460, 0883-2442277/88. Also you can donate to festival sevas here