Devotees enthusiastically participated in the annual Rathyatra Celebration organized by the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Kolkata.
Jnanpriyadas Swami and invited guests performed pujan of the deities in the rath (chariot) and flagged off the procession at 3.00 p.m. Along the route, onlookers admired the decorated chariot and appreciated the Scottish Pipes Band and the Bhakti Band in the procession. The procession continued till it reached the new BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir on Diamond Harbour Road in the evening. Rain did not dampen the spirits of devotees who concluded the celebration with an arti at the mandir.
The Rath Yatra festival, popularly known as the procession of chariots, originated in the pilgrimage city of Jagannath Puri in Orissa. Every year on Ashadh Sud Bij, the deities of Jagannath Mandir, namely Shri Krishna, Balaramji and Subhadra Devi, are placed in a colorful chariot. Devotees lovingly pull the chariots in a procession through the streets. This major festival is celebrated in BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandirs across India and the world, as it was in Kolkata.