The Rath Yatra festival, popularly known as the procession of chariots, originated in the pilgrimage city of Jagannath Puri. Every year on Ashadh Sud Bij, the deities of Jagannath Mandir, namely Shri Krishna, Balaramji and Subhadra Devi, are placed in colourful chariots. Devotees lovingly pull the chariots in a procession through the streets.
The Rath Yatra festival is celebrated at BAPS Swaminarayan Vidyamandir, Randesan on 1st July, 2022. The celebration started at 09:30 in the prayer hall with Dhun, Prarthna and an enlightening speech, explaining that the Rath Yatra festival is to pray Bhagwan to guide our chariot of life. After that, everyone got the Prasad of jamun, sprouted moong and cucumber. At 10:30, everyone gathered at Bhakti Marg, where a murti of Bhagwan Swaminarayan was seated in a chariot, which was beautifully decorated with flowers, leaves and artificial swans. In the presence of sprinkling rain, Pujan of murti was performed with chanting of vedic verses and afterwards, Aarti was performed by senior mahilas and students.
Many girls pulled the chariot through the Bhakti Marg with great devotion and delight as children and youths wearing traditional clothes rejoiced in traditional dance (Garba). Cycle Yatra was also performed by many students in front of the chariot. Finally, the murti of Bhagwan Swaminarayan was taken into each room of all the hostels and students welcomed the God with Ras-Garba and that was the end of the enjoyable and inspiring ‘Rath Yatra’ celebration.