Rathyatra Festival held in Birmingham | india | Hindustan Times
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Rathyatra Festival held in Birmingham

Thousands of devotees lined the centre of Birmingham, as Lord Jagannath's idol was carried in a procession of chariots during the annual Rathyatra festival this week.

india Updated: Jul 28, 2009 15:39 IST

Thousands of devotees lined the centre of Birmingham, as Lord Jagannath's idol was carried in a procession of chariots during the annual Rathyatra festival this week.

Lord Jagannath's 35-feet idol resides in the International Society of Krishna Consciousness's temple in Edgbaston and was taken out for the festival which has its roots in Orissa.

Smiling worshippers sang, chanted prayers, clashed hand symbols and held flags, while some bowed on the pavements, as they walked with the chariots, pulled by volunteers, reports from Birmingham said.

Nisha Patel, a volunteer said, "We think more than 6,000 people came judging from the amount of plates of free food which were distributed. People from many walks of life attended."

It was the eighth time the festival has been held in Birmingham.

"Rathayatra is a festival which brings everyone together to remember and reflect on our relationship with God," the society's Birmingham branch temple director Nitai Charan Das said.

Festival secretary Mayapura Madhava Das said, "I have been participating in organising this festival for many years now and every year I relish the opportunity to serve the community and the people of Birmingham."