Mumbai, Jan 15: Thousands of devotees took part in the annual Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath organised here yesterday by ISKCON with religious fervour and enthusiasm. The devotees, numbering in several thousands, paid obeisance to Lord Jagannath during the Rath Yatra organised by ISKCON's Girgaum Chowpatty temple.
The colourful yatra commenced from the iconic Shivaji Park Grounds in Central Mumbai at 3 PM and returned to the same place at around 6.30 PM after passing through Shiv Sena Bhavan, Plaza, Maruti Mandir, Portuguese Church, Gokhale Road, Khed Galli, Silver Apartment and Prabhadevi areas.
ISKCON spiritual leader Radhanath Swami Maharaj performed the maha aarti' on the rath for Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra amid religious chants. Addressing the gathering, he said, "On this auspicious day of Makar Sankranti, which symbolises peace and prosperity, ISKCON is celebrating the Rath Yatra of the Lord.
"Makar Sankranti is the first solar festival which takes place after winter solstice and signifies the return of longer days. Similarly, when one takes shelter of Lord Jagannath and participates in the Rath Yatra, he makes a start for brighter sides in his life. Devotees of Lord Jagannath enjoys happiness not only in this life but eternally," said Swami Maharaj.
"Over the years, the Rath Yatra has become an important cultural festival of India as it brings people together from different walks of life." During the Rath Yatra, activities like distribution of vedic literature, spiritual fun and fair for children were organised by ISKCON.