Rath Yatra Celebration 2018 - Festival of Universal brotherhood
Ratha Yatra, the Festival of The Chariots, originated thousands of years ago in Jagannatha
Puri in Orissa on the North Eastern coast of India, where it is still observed by the entire
population. Over 5 million people attend the event and it is also celebrated in many towns
across India. The main event is the enthronement of three large deities – Jagannatha
(Krishna), His brother Balarama and Their sister Subhadra – each onto Their own wooden
chariot. These three huge chariots are then hauled by ropes held by hundreds of Their
devotees along a parade route lined by admirers, worshippers and spectators.
The carved and colourfully-painted chariots, liberally bedecked with flowers and garlands
are accompanied by enthusiastic kirtan(congregational chanting) sung by tens of thousands
The deities who grace the chariots are kept throughout the year within temples where
They are worshipped daily in a regulative way. But once a year They emerge in order that
the public may see Them. Krishna thus presents Himself as Jagannatha, the Lord of the
Over the last thirty five years Ratha Yatra has been introduced into many cities around the
world such as New York, London and Sydney by ISKCON's founder His Divine Grace
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada and his followers. As an outdoor street
festival it never fails to attract the attention of the public and media and has become a much
loved and appreciated event all over the world.
Gopal’s Garden High School too, celebrated this colourful chariot festival on 20th July, 2018
with much pomp and enthusiasm. Following the tradition of Puri, the students celebrated
the famous ‘Gundicha Marjanam’ the annual cleaning to welcome the Lord a day prior to
the Rathyatra Festival. Every class cleaned and decorated their classroom for the next day.
The day of the Rathyatra began with an introduction on the importance of the day by the
hosts of the ceremony i.e students from class 5 and 8. This was followed by cultural
presentations by various classes. HG Sachi Mataji and HG Jagannathiswari Mataji graced
this occasion with their kind presence and inspired the children with pearls of wisdom
instilling faith and love for the Lord.
All the school students brought dry bhoga as their loving offering to the Lord.
This was followed by Maha-aarti and the celestial Rath pulling. Every class took turns to
pull the Rath along with their classteachers around the auditorium.
Their Lordships then visited very room of the school to the accompaniment of melodious
kirtan to shower their blessings on every soul in the school.
The students returned back home after enjoying their sumptuous lunch prasadam.