Founder Acharya His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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ISKCON Gold Coast, Bhakti Centre Celebrates Successful Surfers Paradise Ratha Yatra
By Atma Tattva Das, ISKCON News Staff Writer   |  Mar 19, 2024

Amidst thousands of tourists in the picturesque destination, the ISKCON Gold Coast, Bhakti Centre Surfers Paradise hosted their annual Festival of Chariots, commonly known as Ratha Yatra. This vibrant celebration held along the coast not only signifies a cultural and spiritual milestone but also reflects the perseverance and dedication of the local devotees and community.

The early years of organizing the Rath Yatra were not without obstacles, said Madhavananda Das, a prominent figure from the Gold Coast Bhakti Centre. “The first Rath Yatra in Surfers Paradise commenced in 2020 amidst unexpected adversities, including heavy rainfall forecasts. However, our unwavering faith and determination propelled us forward,” he noted, “After navigating the challenges posed by COVID-19, we resumed our Rath Yatra activities in 2022, followed by successful events in 2023.”

Despite subsequent hurdles, such as pandemic restrictions and weather uncertainties, the Rath Yatra has grown in scale and impact over the years. Madhavananda expressed gratitude to key contributors and supporters, highlighting the collaborative effort that goes into making each year’s event a success. “We are grateful for the support we receive, but there is always room for more participation and assistance from our international family.”

This year’s festival featured a diverse range of activities and offerings, including musical performances, mantra chanting sessions led by renowned figures like Mahavishnu Swami and the Harinama Ruci team, book stalls showcasing spiritual literature, and sumptuous prasadam served to hundreds of attendees.

The ongoing success of the Festival of Chariots reflects not just a singular happening but a steadfast commitment to cultural heritage and spiritual values. As the event continues to garner wider recognition and support, the ISKCON Gold Coast, Bhakti Centre Surfers Paradise looks forward to expanding its reach and impact, spreading joy and enlightenment to an ever-growing audience.

You can follow the ongoing service and events at ISKCON Gold Coast – Bhakti Centre Surfers Paradise on their Facebook page, or visit their website to find out more about the community. A special thanks to Harinama Ruci for photos from the event.