Hundreds Of Odias Participate In Rath Yatra Celebration In Canberra

Bhubaneswar: Rath Yatra was celebrated amid pomp and grandeur with participation of hundreds of devotees in Australia’s capital Canberra.

The deities of Vishnu Shiva Temple, Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, Lord Sudarshan and Devi Subhadra were taken out of the temple in ‘Pahandi Bije’ (grand procession) to the 4 meter high colourfully decked up chariot in the morning. Australia Hindu Council’s president Prakash Mehta conducted the traditional sweeping of the chariot called ‘Chherra Pahanra’.

Amid the recital of hymns, roaring slogans like ‘Hari Bol’ and ‘Jai Jagannath’ and playing of musical instruments like Ghanta, Kartala, Mardala, Jhanja and Mrudanga, the chariot pulling started at around 11 am. The chariot wearing a grand appearance was pulled on the street of Florey for 2 km and returned to the temple premises at the end of the journey.

Apart from residents of Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Canberra, around 300 Odia and non–Odia devotees from far off cities like Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and other parts of Australia participated in the 11th car festival which was organised by Hindu Temple and Cultural Centre in association with Vishnu Shiva Temple.

The Hindu Temple and Cultural Centre situated in Florey was decorated to mark the auspicious occasion. The special attraction of the event was the mesmerising Odissi dance presented by noted dancer Nandini Medici and recital of ‘Hari Naam Sankirtana’ by renowned Canberra Kirtan Troupe.

The distinguished dignitaries present at the festival included Deepak Raj Gupta, representative of 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.

The entire arrangement of Ghosha Yatra was made by the main organising team consisting of 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.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Chief Minister of ACT Canberra Andrew Barr, Senator Katherine Ruth Gallagher and MLA Patrick Cain sent their messages on the occasion.

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