devotees from every age and caste take blessings of lord Jagannath
On the auspicious day of “Aashadh Shukla Dvitiya” (aashadi beej) the 37th Iskcon annual Jagannath Rathayatra Mahotsav started with great fervour in the Vadodara. Hundreds of devotees from every age and caste gathered to have a glimpse of lord Jagannath goes out for city darshan along with brother Balbhadra and sister Subhadra.
Like every year the annual Jagannath Rathayatra started from Vadodara railway station after Mayor Dr. Jigisha Sheth sweeps the road with golden broom. It’s a tradition where the first citizen sweep the road just like the Gajapati Maharaja does in Puri annually. The ancient tradition has been intact for centuries.
This year happens to be special as Iskcon celebrates its golden jubilee year into existence. In 1955 Abhay Charnarvind Bhakti Vedant Swami established it in New York. Since then the organisation spreads to every part of the world and celebrates Rathayatra with great fervour. In Vadodara the Iskcon organise its 37th annual Jagannath Rathayatra on 14th July Saturday.
Just like every year the Rathyatra attracts large number of people to have a glimpse of Lord Jagannath goes out with sister Subhadra and brother Balbhadra for city darshan. People gathered all along the route of the Rathyatra to pay their respect to the Lord and seek blessings from them.
Decorated vehicles with various religious themes, artists, children in traditional dress add to the glamour of the procession. Youngsters and people clicked pictures and take selfies all along the route. Fifteen tons (25,000 kgs) of “halava” prasad, all cooked in “deshi ghee” distributed from trucks moving behind the Rath cart.
Devotees in large number from various parts of the country attends the Rathayatra festival in the city. ISKCON Baroda Bhakti Vriksha and Iskcon Youth Forum (IYF) devotees, headed by Mantresh Gauranga Das, Ram Keshav Das, Nimai Nitai Das, Vamsidhari Das, Ram Govinda Das and Ram Gopal Das will distribute books throughout the Rathayatra procession.
The procession proceed from the Railway station at 2:30 PM passing through Sayaji Bagh, Kalaghoda, Salatwada naka. Koti Kacheri, Raopura Main Road, Jubilee Bagh, Padmavati Shopping Center, Sur Sagar, Dandia Bazar, Khanderao Market, Lal Court/Nyaya Mandir, Madan Zampa Road, Kevda Bagh and end at the Baroda High School. opposite the Polo ground at around 8:00 PM.