Mamata pulls Rath, festive fervour sweeps city
Kolkata: The Rathyatra festival was observed in the city with great enthusiasm on Thursday. Trinamool Congress MP and actor Nusrat Jahan was the guest-in-chief of the Rathyatra organised by ISKCON. She, along with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, pulled the rope of the Rath and marked the beginning of the seven-day festival.
In North Kolkata, a Rath was taken out from the DKD Railway Colony, Belgachia and the procession moved through different roads and ended at Madhab Bati on Bidhan Sarani. Rathyatra was also organised at Balaram Mandir, a centre of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission. It was attended by monks of the Ramakrishna Order and the devotees. Sri Ramakrishna himself had pulled the Rath during his stay at the house of Balaram Bose, one of his householder disciples.
A Rath was taken out from Sridhar Roy Road to VIP Nagar Radha Krishna temple via Sridhar Roy Road, Tiljala Road, Bondel Road, Picnic Garden Road and Kusthia More. Hundreds of people waited on both sides of the road to pull the holy vehicle.
Rathyatra was observed with great fanfare at Mahishadal in East Midnapore, where the height of the Rath is a colossal 75 feet. Though the zamindari system has been abolished, a member of the present generation arrives in a palanquin and pulls the rope to mark the beginning of the festival, as per tradition.
In Mayapur, nearly 4,000 devotees from 80 foreign places like Italy, France, Brazil, Spain, UK, US, China, Russia, South Africa and the Middle East joined the Rathyatra festival organised by ISKCON.
Besides this, more than one and half lakh people thronged to get 'darshan' of Lord Jagannath, Baladev and Subhadra, sitting on their respective carts- Nandighosh, Taladwaja and Devdalana. The Rathyatra was inaugurated by Surajit Kar Purkayastha, former Director General of Police and currently the state Security Advisor.
Subroto Das, media spokesperson of ISKCON Mayapur, said the beauty of Rathyatra festival at Mayapur is that it integrates people and spreads feelings of love and compassion among them. People irrespective of caste, creed, colour, nationality and religion participate in the festival with zeal and fervour.