Rolling on road behind the Goddess Chariot in London

Written by  London Swaminathan

 Date: 11 AUGUST 2019  

British Summer Time uploaded in London –  19-

Post No. 6762

 Pictures are taken from various sources.  ((posted by AND


Kanaga Durga Temple in Ealing, London, celebrated its Annual Chariot festival also known as Car Festival and Rath Yatra. Ealing in London became another Jaffna (Sri Lanka) today. Sri Lankan Hindus showed that they are  second to none in following Hindu rituals. I have seen many Rath Yatras in London and Tamil Nadu (India). But today’s one was unique.

The unusual scene today was the rolling of scores of Hindu Tamil devotees on the ground, literally on the roads. Hindus take vow and do several strange rites to fulfil their vows. Fire Walking, Carrying Fire Pots in hands or heads, Carrying Milk Pots or Pots with young /germinating plants on their heads, rolling on the left over food leaves/plates and rolling on the ground etc.

The meaning behind all these rituals is thanks giving to the god for fulfilling their wishes. Several people do it with newer demands as well; “Lt me get married soon; let me get a good wife or husband, let me pass in the exams, let my troubles be over, let me get a child, let me get good health or wealth” are some appeals. Several mothers do it for their children. That is why Manu and other Law makers made Mother superior to God in Hinduism.

Today I saw scores of people rolling on the hot, rough roads following the Ratha/ chariot of Goddess Durga. Kanaga Durga (Golden Goddess of Protection) is a famous temple in London. Every year the Rath Yatra is held.

Hindus believe that the dust of the devotees is more powerful in healing than the Prasad of Gods. So they roll on the ground where the Bhaktas/devotees and Gods walked. That is why they came at the far end of the procession.

The whole of Jaffna descended upon Ealing area of London this morning giving colourful scenes. Hundreds of young volunteers led the procession peacefully for four hours. Several thousands attended and had free food. They waited patiently with  young children with smiling faces to get the Darshan (viewing of the Goddess) and the Maha Prasad (sumptuous food).

Another beautiful scene is the Kavadi Dance (Kanwaria in North India). They take the semi circular, decorated wooden arch on their shoulders and dance and chant the names of Gods. Kavadi carriers put hooks behind their backs or insert sharp spade shaped Vel in their mouths to show their intensity of devotion; another interpretation is that by punishing themselves like this they atone for their sins.

Hundreds of women carried the Milk Pots on their heads. These are the things that give them great mental strength. These serve as shock absorbers and tackle all sorts of family problems.

Sri Lankan mothers brought their children in large numbers. It is not only fun for the children but also memorable events in their life. Todays’ mothers and fathers were trained on the job (of understanding Hinduism) by their parents in the same way.

Hinduism is unique in the world with hundreds of colourful rituals and foods. The more they celebrate such festivals the more faith they get. Their faith gets more deep rooted.

In addition to Rolling men, Milk Pots, Fire Pots, Kavadis there were music troupes playing on traditional pipes and drums. Three Rathas/ chariots took nearly four hours to reach the destination and people walked all through the route. They broke thousands of coconuts and offered them to Goddess Durga along the route.

I have taken scores of pictures- please see the attached pictures.


carrying Milk pot (paal Kudam) on head.
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