On the auspicious occasion of Rath Yatra, BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir, Kolkata, organised a magnificent Rath Yatra Utsav. The inauguration ceremony was performed by the learned sadhus began at 3:00 p.m. with Vedic Pujan of the Rath.
The murtis of Shri Balaramji, Sree Sree Subhadra Deviji and Shri Jagannathji made their way to the main rath – ‘Pahani’. The Mayor, Shri Sovan Chatterjee and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation Chairman Shri Sachchidananda Banerjee led the Shri Jagannath Sevaks, in which they were joined by other distinguished guests.
The Rath was accompanied by traditional Oriya performers playing large gongs and ladies decked in saris, all of whom welcomed the rath with flags. The guests then performed vedic pujan amidst the chanting of Sanskrit shlokas by sadhus. This year’s rath yatra had the added attraction of BAPS youths playing a 15 piece Scottish Bagpiper Band.
After performing the ceremony, the distinguished guests swept the road – ‘chera pahanra’ – with the traditional golden broom. Thousands then joined together to pull the huge 35 feet high rath on its journey through Sarat Bose Road, Hazra Road, S. P. Mukherjee Road, Ashutosh Mukherjee Road, Elgin Road and back to the mandir by 7:00 pm where Maha aarti was performed followed by Prasad.