Rath Yatra 2022: Canberra Hosts Lord Jagannath’s Car Festival

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Canberra: The Australian Capital Territory (ACT), Canberra hosted 11th Car Festival of Lord Jagannath with unusual Pomp and utmost Splendour. The Ceremony organised by Hindu Temple and Cultural Centre in association with Vishnu Shiva Temple witnessed the performance of religious rituals from the dawn by Temple priest before the four Deities stationed at Hindu Temple.

To mark the auspicious occasion the Hindu Temple and Cultural Centre situated at 81, Ratcliffe Crescent in Florey was aesthetically decorated and was wearing an ethnic and elegant look. This year’s Rath Yatra witnessed tremendous enthusiasm and unprecedented enchantments among the spectators gathered at Jagannath Dham to participate in the holy ceremony. Apart from residents of ACT Canberra around 300 Odia and Non – Odia devotees from far off cities like Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and other parts of Australia also descended at the Festival venue during the occasion.

At 10.00 a.m. the Deities were taken in Pahandi Bije procession to the 4 meter high colourfully decked up chariot. First Lord Sudarshan, then Elder Brother Balabhadra followed by Devi Subhadra and at the end Lord Jagannath were taken to the chariot stationed infront of the temple in a grand procession. Australia Hindu Council’s President Prakash Mehta conducted the traditional sweeping of the chariot called Chherra Pahanra. With the recitals of hymns, roaring slogans like Hari Bol and Jai Jagannath, sounding of Hulahuli and playing of musical instruments like Ghanta, Kartala, Mardala, Jhanja and Mrudanga, the chariot pulling started around 11.00 a.m. The chariot having regal and royal appearance with Four Deities on board had a majestic sojourn on the street of Florey for 2 KM and was pulled back to the Hindu temple premises at the end of the journey.

The distinguished dignitaries, who attended the Festival include Deepak Raj Gupta, the representative of the ACT Canberra’s Chief Minister Andrew Barr, Indian Deputy High Commissioner Suneet Mehta, Industrialists Srikant Tripathy and Aditya Jhunjhunwala, Former Presidents of Orioz Inc. Rajendra Padhee and Sujeet Jena and current Joint Treasurer of Orioz Inc.Mumtaz Lenka. As announced by Organisers, the Soul motto of Car Festival and accompanying Peace March is to unite all humanity irrespective of their caste, creed, colour, belief and race for the betterment of mankind.

The special attraction of the Mega Event was the mesmerising Odissi Dance presented by noted classical Nandini Medici and recitals of soul soothing Hari Naam Sankirtana by Renowned Canberra Kirtan Troupe.

The entire arrangement of Ghosha Yatra was well managed and neatly executed by the main organising team consisting of the President of Hindu Temple and cultural centre Prakash Mehta, Secretary Tarun Agasti, President of Australia’s Odia Society (ORIOZ INC.) Dr. Nalini Pati and Santosh Gupta. The long cherished and much talked massive religious carnival attained historic success due to the all out support and overwhelming co –operation extended by the Prime Odia Organisation in Australia; Orioz Inc., Hindu council, Hindu Community in ACT Canberra and local Odia and non – Odia inhabitants.The goodwill messages wishing the Car Festival grand success were received from Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Chief Minister of ACT Canberra Andrew Barr, Senator Katherine Ruth Gallagher and MLA Patrick Cain.

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