Puri’s Ratha Yatra is a spectacle to watch and participate in for Krishna devotees from all over India and abroad. Recently, people in Vrindavan witnessed a similar grand procession in the holy month of Kartik. As is well known, Ratha Yatra is an ancient festival of the Jagannath Temple in Puri, Orissa. This year the Rath Yatra in Puri was charged with much spiritual excitement. The reason for this was that this year was the Nabakalebar Rath Yatra, where Jagannath, Balaram and Subhadra were given a new avatar after a span of 19 years! Today, Ratha Yatra is celebrated by ISKCON devotees in countries around the world.
On the cherished day, in Vrindavan, after maha-abhishek and aarti in the morning, Jagannath, Baldev and Subhadra Devi were seated on a float and taken on a tour of the city. ISKCON devotees danced and sang the Holy Name, while others swept the streets in front of the carts, making sure they sparkled before the Lord passed by on his chariot. The ladies of the temple made rangoli designs on the streets to welcome him. Devotees from all over the world, who were visiting Vrindavan for Kartik, attended the function. Beginning at Shri Krishna Sharanam on Chhatikara road, the procession passed by Prem Mandir, ISKCON, Vidyapeeth Chaurah and Atalla Chungi before returning to ISKCON via the Parikrama Marg. While the holy chariot moved through the various lanes of the temple town, it was a grand sight to behold as the purity and holiness poured into hearts of people around.