Highlights of London Ratha Yatra 2017 (Post No.4033)

 

Written by London Swaminathan
Date: 28 June 2017
Time uploaded in London- 18-16
Post No. 4033

 
Pictures shown here are taken  by me.

 

London Ratha Yatra, chariot procession organised by ISKCON, was held in London on 18th June 2017. It started at Hyde Park corner and finished at Trafalgar Square. Since it went through the heart of London thousands of tourists watched from their buses or from the hotels. As usual thousands of devotees took part in it. Several hundred-people travelled from far off places.

 

Every year at least one or two people dress them selves as Radha and Krishna. This year also two youngsters came in that disguise. Normally they attract more attention than anyone else. All the devotees and tourists pose with them and take photographs.

 

Dancing and singing by the devotees evoked good response from the general public. I saw severa hotel staff who watched it along with the tourists from the gates of their hotels also sang Hare Krishna,

There was a good rush to sweep the floor with the holy broom. The idea is to clean the street of dust where the Lord’s Rathas come. Three chariots were pulled by hundreds f volunteers with great enthusiasm.

Krishna Devotees  fell (prostrated) on the roads to do the traditional namaskaram. Lot of youngsters in colourful dress added colour to the show. At the end of the procession free food was distributed. The crowd is increasing steadily every year.

 

Krishna devotees were distributing leaflets, books and Prasad (nuts and fruits) all along the route. If it is a political or other religious procession there will be high security and visible police presence. With Hare Krishna Ratha Yatra I have never seen police or security. Everything was maintained by the dedicated volunteers.

 

When the chariots (Rathas) were going through roads with heavy traffic, volunteers stood at the edge of the procession and see that the crowd not spilling over. It was an orderly crowd.

I have seen at least 15 mothers wheeling their prams with babies. Though it was a hot sunny day they were following it for over three hours!

Spectators, particularly tourists, joined the dancing and singing Some black couple joined the devotees and danced for some time. Though all the 25+ Tamil temples do the traditional chariot processions in their respective areas, this is the only procession allowed through Central London. When I came to London in 1987, I just watched it from the point it started. Nowadays I walk with the rathas and take photographs. Please see the photos taken by me posted with this write up.

 

  

 

–Subham–

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