Written by London Swaminathan

Date: 16 June 2019

British Summer Time uploaded in London –  1

Post No. 6556

Pictures shown here are taken by me.. This is a non- commercial blog. ((posted by AND

ISKCON’s Rath Yatra was celebrated this morning  (16th June 2019)in London . As usual devotees came in thousands from different parts of the country and some from Europe.  I have been attending Rath Yatra for over a quarter of a century in London. The crowd is swelling year by year. I saw the same devotion and dedication among the volunteers. Women came with their children in Prams. Since it was an orderly crowd I saw less police personnel.

Thousands of people had free feast at the Trafalgar square where the Rath Yatra ended. It took   two hours to reach the destination from Hyde Park Corner. Since three Rathas (Chariots of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra) passed through heart of London, millions of pictures were taken by devotees and tourists. In the beginning I saw more tourists in the free food queue than the devotees. Water stalls, Bhonji (salted lemon juice drink) stalls and food stalls were in different places in the Square. Book stalls and other stalls were available for general public to browse through. Hinduja Foundation gave the free feast to all those came to see the Rath Yatra.

Devotees took turns to sweep the roads to clean the path of God’s procession. Hare Krishna and Hare Rama Bhajan accompanied by instrumental musicians was heard continuously for two hours. Men and women were dancing for two hours while they passed trough the entire route. Women came in their traditional sarees and added colour to the procession. It was a memorable event. I went with the procession for one hour and took some pictures:-

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1 Comment

  1. This is such splendid news, with nice pictures. I do not know whether any TV channels in India has broadcast this news.
    It is heartening that the London chariot festival is drawing increasing crowds of devotees year after year. It is also heartening to see the ladies coming in traditional attire. This has to be mentioned since the trend is contrary to what is happening in India in some places.
    Krishna is the embodiment of Ananda and the chariot festival fully reflects that spirit.
    I am attending the famous Car festival of Nataraja in Chidambaram regularly for twenty years and I have noticed not only the crowds thinning, but the spirit of devotion and festivity waning over the years. Our own girls are increasingly resorting to non-traditional wear- but some regular foreign devotee visitors- both men and women- do come in traditional attire. In many other places the Car festivals have not been taking place as the old Cars are not serviceable and new ones are not being built according to old style and standard.
    We have great reasons to be grateful to the ISKCON movement. In modern times, it was only Srila A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada who confronted the modern critics- secular, scientific, materialist and other categories- head on and matched them in argument, point by point.None of the traditional Mutts or even some modern outfits have done this. Unlike many advocates of superficial Vedanta, who dish out vague theories, It was Srila Prabhupada who strongly, clearly advocated Bhakti to THE PERSON OF THE GODHEAD. He had the courage to advocate devotion to Krishna- the Supreme Personality of Godhead- which in fact is the essential doctrine of Srimad Bhagavatam [ Krishnas tu Bhagavan Swayam] and the concluding message of Bhagavad Gita![ Sarva dharman parityajya mam ekam sharanam vraja] One may or may not agree with the philosophy of Achintya Bhedabheda on which Gaudiya Vaishnavism is based, but it is also a form of Advaita the main difference being that it does not accept the idea of the world being maya. When it comes to devotion, philosophies pale into insignificance. And in modern days, when there is a tendency among modern Indian Gurus and many English educated Indians generally to extol a sort of vague Vedantism, based on pseudo-intellectual idealism, it takes courage to advocate pure devotion to a Deity as the ultimate way. This Srila Prabhupada had.
    The literature on how the London centre of ISKCON came to be established and the thrilling incidents connected with it and the selfless work of those early devotees come to our mind when we look at the pictures of the London Rath Yatra.
    Tava kathamrutam tapta jeevanam
    Kavi biriditam kalmashapaham
    Shravana mangalam srimadatatam
    Bhuvi grunanti te bhurida jana:.

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