Friday, Aug 19, 2022
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Following A Hiatus Of 2 Years, Bengal Celebrates Rath Yatra In Full Glory

West Bengal witnessed a splendid Rath Yatra celebration after a hiatus of over 2 years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Rath Yatra 2022 Photo: PTI

Thousands descended on streets in different places across West Bengal on the occasion of the Rath Yatra festival on Friday as chariots were pulled out after two years of muted celebration due to the covid-19 pandemic.

Leaders of various political parties, including the ruling Trinamool Congress and the opposition BJP, separately joined the celebrations. West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee separately wished the people of the state on the occasion of Rath Yatra. Banerjee inaugurated the Rath Yatra of the International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in South Kolkata.

TMC leader and Kamarhati MLA Madan Mitra were present as three 30-foot chariots were pulled on B T Road at Belgharia by the people. BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar pulled a chariot at the Cossipore area of north Kolkata, while the leader of the opposition Suvendu Adhikari led the devotees at Marishda in Purba Medinipur district.

Around one lakh people turned out at Mahesh in Hooghly district to pull the famous chariot with the three sibling deities - Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra, and Lord Jagannath - seated inside. Most of them were not wearing masks ignoring the requests of the organizers and the administration as covid cases are rising. 

"After muted celebrations for past two years, when the deities could not be taken out along the one km long traditional route, the centuries-old Mahesh Rath is again back in its original splendor this year," one of the priests of the Jagannath temple, Mahesh, said. Chariots were taken out in many other parts of Kolkata by various organizations. Children took out small chariots across the state.

"On the auspicious day of Rath Yatra, Praying Lord Jagannath for everlasting peace, prosperity, good health, and happiness for all,” the governor tweeted. In a Twitter post, the chief minister said, "Jai Jagannath! Greetings on the auspicious occasion of Ratha Yatra, the mighty move of the Lord, embracing all castes and creeds. May He bless us all." 

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