Rath Yatra 2022 in Bangladesh: Rath Yatra, one of the major festivals of Hindus in Bangladesh, began across the country on Friday amid religious fervour and enthusiasm after a two-year break due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Different religious bodies and temple committees have chalked out various programmes as part of the festivities, local media reported.
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon) has drawn up a nine-day programme in Dhaka, and it will end with Ulto Rath (reverse journey) celebration on July 8, news agency Bangladesh Sangbad Sanstha (BSS) reported.
The country’s largest Rath Yatra, during which chariots of Lord Jagannath and his divine siblings Goddess Subhadra and Lord Balabhadra are pulled by devotees, has historically been celebrated at Dhamrai in Manikganj district, on the outskirts of Dhaka, and this year is no exception.
This is the 351st Rath Yatra at Dhamrai, and a Rathmela organised on the occasion will continue throughout the month, Bangladesh Live News reported.
According to the BSS report, the day started with rendering of Harisangkirtan in the morning. There were recitation of verses from Bhagavadgita, distribution of mahaprosad, rendition of padabali kirtan and arati, cultural functions, staging of religious dramas and screening of religious films through the day.
The Iskcon programmes at Swamibag in Dhaka started with an ‘Agnihotra Jagna’ seeking divine blessings for world peace and people’s welfare.
There was a discussion in the afternoon, where Planning Minister MA Mannan was the chief guest and Indian High Commissioner Vikram K Doraiswami attended as a special guest. A lamp was lit on the occasion.
Later, a colourful procession was brought out from the Swamibagh temple as three large chariots carrying images and idols of Sri Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra.
Devotees pulled the ropes of the chariots through different parts of the city and rounded it up on the premises of the Dhakeshwari temple, the BSS report said. The chariot festival was also celebrated in other parts of Dhaka and the country.
Special security measures were in place to ensure there was no untoward incident, the BSS report said.
Religion Works For Bringing Peace And Prosperity: Bangladesh Minister
In Chattogram too, a-nine day long Rath Yatra began amid fanfare, with Iskcon taking out a procession, BSS reported.
On the occasion, Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud said Bangladesh is a country of communal harmony.
“The Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists and Christians have been living here from time immemorial in amity and peace,” he said, inaugurating a nine-day Rath Yatra at the city’s Prabartak Sangha crossing.
Hasan, who is also the joint general secretary of ruling Awami League, said religion always works for bringing peace and prosperity, eliminating terrorism, extremism and fundamentalism.
At Chattogram, devotees attired in traditional dresses also assembled at Nandankanon Tulshidham intersection with colourful banners and festoons to celebrate the festival. Among the devotees joining the procession were Advaita-Achyuta Mission members, and students of universities, schools and colleges, The Daily Star reported.
Dr Rajib Ranjan, Indian Assistant High Commissioner in Chattogram, inaugurated the festival where former Chattogram city mayor AJM Nasir Uddin was present as the chief guest.