Bangalore, July 12:The soothing aroma of the incense and the holiness in the air is apparent in the Gujarat capital. But, the simultaneous 'Azaan' call and the chants of the hymns gives you the feeling that despite all political uproars and controversies, India is still united in its prayers for peace and harmony.
Inaugurated by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, the Rath Yatra was celebrated on the 11th of July, while the Muslim brotherhood performed the Ramadan fasting at home.
Thousands thronged the streets to watch the chief minister carry out the Pahind ritual in Rath Yatra that requires the clearing of the path for the divinities-Lord Jagannath, Balaram and Subhadra.
One of them was 8 year old Rasheed and his father Abdul (35) who had travelled all the way from Shahpur village to get a glimpse of the Lord. On asking him about his experience, he says with a bright smile," I come here every year to see the chariot roll on the street. It looks so elegant and grand. But what I like the most is the public fair that is organized for the occasion. You can find anything and everything you want here."
Muslims during roza-iftaar on the first day of Ramzan at the Shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer on Thursday.
In New Delhi
Muslims coming out of Jama Masjid after breaking their fast on the first day of the holy month of Ramadan in New Delhi on Thursday.
In New Delhi
Muslim women offer prayers at Jama Masjid on the first day of the holy month of Ramadan in New Delhi on Thursday.
In New Delhi
Muslims break their fast during roza-iftaar at Jama Masjid on the first day of the holy month of Ramadan in New Delhi on Thursday.
Muslims offer prayers during roza-iftaar on the first day of Ramzan at historic Mecca Masjid in old city of Hyderabad on Thursday.
Muslims offering 'namaz' at Budshah chowk during the holy month of Ramadan in Srinagar on Thursday.
A family seeks blessing on the eve Ramzan Ul Mubarak month at Idgah in Jodhpur on Wednesday.
Rath Yatra in Puri
Three chariots of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra during the annual "Rath Yatra" in Puri on Wednesday.
Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi pulling the chariot of Lord Jagannath as he participates in 136th Rath Yatra (chariot procession) in Ahmedabad on Wednesday.
RathYatra in Ahmedabad
Devotees hold Kalash on their head near Sabarmati river during "Kalash Yatra" ahead of the "136th RathYatra" in Ahmedabad on Sunday.
One can spot a number of such grinning faces-not in the thronging crowds on the streets of Rath Yatra, but in the houses of their Muslim friends.
Ravi, 21, a software engineer from Ahmedabad was spotted digging into a plate full of home-made Biriyani. His best friend-Rahman-invited him for Ramzan and the latter flew all the way from Bangalore (where he works) to wish him.
"I love the Biriyani that aunty makes and she makes it specially for me and my sister. There is no doubt that she might have packed some Biriyani for me to take back home," he said.
Interestingly, Rasheed and Ravi are not the only people travelling long distances to the capital for these occasions. Thousands of people from all communities, especially the Muslim brotherhood, have come down from Shahpur and Dariapur villages for the festivals, even while they were fasting this year. And no prizes for guessing what they broke their 'Roza' with-dates and fruits given by the 'Mahant' of the Rath Yatra.
This heartwarming scene in the country's most controversial state, defamed for its alleged anti-Muslim sentiments, re-instates faith in the fact that humanity knows no religion or race, but understands the language of love and unity.