On the auspicious day of ”Aashadh Shukla Dvitiya”, (“aashadi beej”) lSKCON Baroda took out the Jagannath Rathayatra for the 38th consecutive year. Twenty two tons (27,000 kgs) of ”Halva” prasad and 8000 Kg bananas will be distributed to the devotees all through the route.
As per tradition the Rathayatra procession starts from Baroda Railway station after sweeping the road by Mayor of Baroda, Dr. Jigishaben Seth. As per years old tradition she inaugurate the procession by sweeping the road with golden broom in front of Lord Jagannath’s Rath, as the Gajapati Maharaja of Puri does at Puri. The ancient tradition is intact for centuries and still follows everywhere during the Rathyatra.
Local, social and political leaders from both the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress Party, including MP, MLAs, Municipal Councilors also present for the inauguration. Large number of life patron members and supporters of ISKCON, as well as devotees in big numbers remain present to welcome the lord at various places throughout the route.
Beautifully dressed Lord Jagannath, Shree Balbhadra and sister Subhadra moves on the rath pulled by devotees in big numbers. The procession started from railway station joined by camel carts, Baggis children dressed as Bharat Mata, Krishna Radha, Shiva and others.
The procession proceed from the Railway station to 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 ends at Baroda High School, opposite Polo ground.
Twenty two tons (27,000 kgs) of ”Halva” prasad, all cooked in ”deshi ghee” and 8000 Kg banana will be distributed from four trucks moving behind the Rath cart. Later on at ISKCON Baroda, full plates of prasad will be distributed to approximately forty thousand visitors, and ISKCON life patron members.
ISKCON Gujarat Chief Jasomatinandan Das, Deena Bandhu, senior ISKCON devotee and Vraj lila Kathakaar Satchidananda Das, Temple President of lSKCON Vallabh Vidyanagar, Nityananda Ram Das, Vice President ISKCON Baroda attends the Rathayatra festival.
Large number of devotees attends the Rathayatra festival from various parts of India. ISKCON Baroda Bhakti Vriksha and lskcon 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.