Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will inaugurate the Rathayatra festival organised by ISKCON on Wednesday morning. The festival will start from Wednesday and will continue till July 14.
Banerjee will be visiting Iskcon Temple at Uttam Kumar Sarani at 10 am on Wednesday, but from 8 am onward different functions will start taking place at the temple premises. After the inauguration, the Ratha will pass through Hungerford Street, Minto Park, Sarat Bose Road, Hazra Road, SP Mukherjee Road and ATM Road, and then it will pass through Exide Crossing before taking Jawaharlal Nehru Road to reach Brigade Parade Ground. This is the biggest Rathayatra festival in the city.
Hundreds of people will gather to attend the festival and they will move along with the Ratha. People from different walks of life pour in to the place to pull the rope of the Ratha.
The city police have made elaborate arrangements to ensure that no untoward incident takes place during the Rathayatra and also special arrangements will be made so that there will be no traffic congestion when the Ratha will be passing through different routes.
Senior officers of the city police’s traffic department had held meetings and discussed the diversion that would be made to avoid traffic congestion.
Moreover, hundreds of policemen will be posted to ensure security of the people participating in the festival. There will be policemen in informal clothes as usual and women police will also be posted.
The Ratha will be staying at Brigade Parade Ground till July 13 and people can visit to offer puja to Lord Jagannath, Baladev and Subhadra. There will also be a fair at the ground on the eve of Rathayatra.
The Ratha will return to the temple on July 14 through Esplanade, Lenin Sarani before passing through CIT Road, Suhrawardy Avenue and Shakespeare Sarani to reach the temple premises.
The festival will also be observed in different parts of the state. There will be a fair at Rashbehari where artisans from different parts of Bengal will come to sell their wares.
In Mahesh, Serampore, a traditional ratha will be taken out in the afternoon. Balaram Mandir priests, monks of the Ramakrishna Mission and the devotees will take part in the festival. Shri Ramakrishna had pulled the rope of Ratha during his stay in the house of Balaram Basu in 1882.