By Ekalavya Das
Camp: Sri Sri Radha Govinda Mandir, ISKCON Noida
Dear Maharajas and Prabhus,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
30th March, 2008: Noida (Next to Delhi), UP, India
“Sri Jagannatha Rathayatra was celebrated yesterday with a record turnout of crowds!” exclaimed ISKCON Noida Temple President H. G. Vraja Bhakti Vilas Prabhu.
The festival began in the morning as devotees arrived from Vrndavana, Delhi, Ghaziabad, Scotland, London, USA, Mauritius, China, Russia and many more. The devotees were received with flower garlands, hot prasadam, and a South Indian Senai Band.
As the cart began to roll out on the streets of Noida at 3:00 PM, it was preceded by two elephants, floats depicting Krishna Lila, a full brass band, and a lively kirtan party. After an extensive tour of Noida, Lord Jagannatha’s cart arrived at the festival grounds at 8:30 PM.
Facilities during the procession included a decorated float that devotees could ride on if they got tired of walking. Prasadam, fruits, and water were profusely distributed during the route.
“What made it great was that there were facilities for people that were either older and not able to make the walk, or got tired during the way to the festival grounds. There was plenty of water. Every 1/2 a kilometer there was a water stand.” gushed Nancy Hope Lowens, a visitor from USA.
Features of the festival site included a Govinda’s Restaurant, a wide range of activities for children including mountain climbing, arts and crafts, and larger than life puppets that the kids were shaking hands with. The stage program featured talks from senior devotees, and plenty of Hare Krishna kirtan and dancing.
Amongst the myriad of festival goers who came to receive Lord Jagannatha’s mercy as he traveled on his cart throughout Noida included H. H. Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaja, H. H. Lokanath Swami Maharaja, H. H. Janananda Goswami Maharaja, and H. G. Mahamana Prabhu.
Congratulations to all the ISKCON Noida devotees who worked so hard and thanks to all the visiting devotees who came to make the festival successful.
Dasanudas, Ekalavya Das