USA Ratha Yatra – Indiana at the Hindu Temple of Central Indiana(HTCI)
(By Prasant Kumar Bhuyan ) Ratha Yatra was celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm at the Hindu Temple of Central Indiana(HTCI) on July 14th, 2018, organised by The Jagannath Association of Indiana(JAI), USA. This was the 4th consecutive year of celebrating Ratha Yatra by the Odia families living in Indiana under the JAI banner. Lots of work went into the construction, assembly, and decoration of the Ratha, during evening hours and weekends. by dedicated volunteers.After Mangal Arati and Archana in the morning Pahandi began at 11 am with devotees carrying the deities from the temple to the Ratha on the Palki. The real excitement of the devotees could be seen with chants of “Jai Jagannath!” and reverberations of the ghantas. The HTCI executive president Mr. Krishnakumar Padmanabhan performed the Chhera Panhara. This marked the start of the Ratha pulling. People of all ages pulled the Ratha with a lot of excitement and passion around the temple building. After this, the deities were brought into a seperate section of the temple where their aunt’s place was located. The temple kitchen prepared a special Odia menu of rice, daal, ghaanto curry, tomato khatta, kheer for prasad sevan. Subsequent to prasad sevan, the cultural program started with a wide selection of acts which included singing bhajans, classical dances, Odia poems etc concluding with the Indian National Anthem.Close to five hundred people from the Indian community representing various states of India attended the event and left with the divine feeling of being blessed. Bahuda Yatra will take place on July 22nd at 10 am. The Odia diaspora living in Indiana, USA feels blessed and privileged to be able to celebrate Ratha Yatra in spite of being far away from the homeland. The JAI group in collaboration with The HTCI officials and volunteers from the Indian community in Indiana made the celebration memorable. The manifestation of human fervour of devotion and collective celebration of Lord Jagannath across all kinds of people is the spirit of Rath Yatra.