Jagannath Rath Yatra pulls in huge crowd

Community kitchens, stalls and langars on every nook and corner of the city for the poor on the one hand and special dinner for just a handful of elite families in one of the costliest resort of the city on the other.

These contrasting colours of the Ludhiana Jagannath Rath Yatra (chariot procession) were witnessed during the 16th Rath Yatra, a three-day event jointly organised by Rath Yatra Prabandhak Committee and International Society for Krsna Consciousness (ISKCON), on Sunday with lakhs of devotees including 200 foreigners from ISKCON thronging the city. The yatra began from Durga Mata Mandir and culminated at Nav Durga Mata Mandir, Sarabha Nagar, with Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal performing first aarti.

Satish Gupta, president, the Rath Yatra Organising Committee, said, "This year, more than 500 stalls have been set up by the residents to distribute eatables to devotees whereas there were just 250 last year."

Highlights

ISKCON distributed more than 5,000 copies of the Bhagvad Gita translated into Punjabi.

Khushi Ram and Sons made special thaalis ranging from Rs 500 and above with 56 unique kind of sweets (chhapan bhog).

The broom made of gold is used every year to clean the roads in front of the chariot.

On December 14, more than 200 families were invited to Maharaja Grand, one of the costliest resorts of the city, to do 'maha-aarti' and reportedly they all donated Rs 11,000 and more for the aarti.

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