Kolkata, July 3 (IANS) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday gave out a message of harmony at the “Ulto Rath Yatra” or the return chariot journey of Lord Jagannath and his two siblings from their aunt’s place to their home.
Participating in the ritual of pulling the rope of the chariot brought out on the city streets by ISKCON, Banerjee described the event as a festival of harmony and togetherness.
“The Rath Yatra is a journey of harmony. It is a journey of togetherness and bonding among people,” Banerjee said.
“This is first time I have participated in ‘Ulto Rath Yatra’. I am happy to be able to participate in the festival,” said Banerjee, who was in the Netherlands to attend a UN event during the last week’s Rath Yatra celebrations.
Rath Yatra symbolises the journey of the sibling deities, Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra, to their aunt’s place called “Gundicha Ghar”. On Ulto Rath Yatra, they return to their abode.
The festival was celebrated with traditional fervour and gaiety at Mayapur of Nadia district, where over 35 thousand ISKCON devotees pulled the chariots.
The deities moved forward step-by-step from the Gundicha Temple to their respective carts on the way to the ISKCON temple, to the accompaniment of bells and khol and blowing of conch shells.
Cultural programmes were presented by devotees who had come from far-off places.