The Ganesh Chaturthi festival at the Hindu Temple, Flushing, concluded on Sunday with a Rath Yatra, the traditional chariot procession. Lord Ganesh is the presiding deity of this temple, one of the oldest in North America, where Indians immigrants are increasingly making their presence felt culturally.
Over 2,000 devotees joyously danced to devotional music and beating of drums and playing of nagaswaram as Lord Ganesh's idol made of panchaloha (five metal alloy), sitting in a well-decorated, 16-ft high silver chariot, was taken in a procession in the neighbourhood.
"A representative from the mayor's office and New York Council member David Weprin representing Queens area attended the Rath Yatra," V. Padmanabhan, the temple's public relations officer, told IANS.
The Rath Yatra took place for three hours in the afternoon and culminated in the temple.
The Rath Yatra concluded the Ganesh festivities that started on Sept 7 and saw streams of devotees visiting the temple to take part in special rituals every day.
Over the nine days, 30,000 prasad packets were distributed to devotees by the temple run by The Hindu Temple Society of North America.
The Rath Yatra is taken out every year by the temple since it was consecrated in 1977. This format was conceived to replace the immersion of the idol in a river or sea as practised in India, but will run foul of the law here.