Mayapur, July 3: The devotees today celebrated Ulta Rath festival, the return journey of Lord Jagannath from Gundicha, with fervour and gaiety at the Keertan capital of the world and spiritual headquarter of Iskcon in Mayapur of Nadia.
To mark the occasion the devotees were busy preparing various delicious dishes which were offered before the Lord before he left. Today Sri Jagannath, Baladeva and Subhadradevi went back to Rajapur temple after their nine day long stay since June 25.
The chariots were opulently decorated with variety of colourful flowers which added to their grandeur. In a rhythmic style, the deities of Jagannath Baladev Subhadra moved forward step by step from the Gundicha temple to their respective cart, to the accompaniment of beating of ‘Ghantas’ and ‘Shree Khol’ and blowing of conch shells.
For the pleasure of the Lord many cultural programmes were presented by devotees who had come from remote places.
Before the return began, the chariots were worshiped amidst chanting of mantras and aarti was performed. More than 35000 people comprising of devotees, guests and pilgrims got the opportunity to pull the chariots. On way back the chariots were greeted by enthusiastic crowds belonging to different communities who stood on both sides of the road, on roof tops leading to Rajapur
The entire procession looked like a carnival All the way the devotees ecstatically chanted melodious Keertan which mesmerized the people.
Ulta Ratha festival was attended by senior monks of Iskcon along with many legendary celebrities from sports and film fraternity, administrative dignitaries and political leaders.
Picture by Pranab Debnath