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As per the annual custom, a grand Rath Yatra celebration was organized by the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Kolkata.

A grand 35 ft high and 12 ft wide chariot was made by the devotees. On the side of the chariot were ten sections, each housing one of the ten main avatars of Sanatan Hindu Dharma. Inside the chariot the murtis of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, Aksharbrahma Gunatitanand Swami, Shri Jagannathji, Subhadraji and Balramji were ceremoniously placed, to the accompaniment of Vedic mantras.

The initial Vedic pujan ceremony was conducted by BAPS sadhus and performed by Shri Pranav Mukharji, Defense Minister of India. Also present were Shri Baichang Bhutia - India's football team captain, Shri Tapas Pal, Shri Subrata Bakshi, Shri Ravi Todi, Shri Satyanarayan Bajaj and other dignitaries.

At the start of the procession, the dignitaries pulled the 40 ft long ropes attached to the chariot. Leading the procession were balaks in traditional costumes. Also part of the procession were youths of the BAPS Pramukh Dhwani Band, devotees from Orissa singing bhajans and Udiya devotees.

Young girls and women devotees also participated in the procession, dressed in traditional costumes and singing bhajans.

The 8 km route passed through the streets of Kolkata and returned to the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir at 7.00 pm. The concluding arti was performed by Bhagwatpriya Swami.

 

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