On the auspicious day of “aashadh shukla dvitiya”, Tuesday, July 13, 2010, ISKCON Baroda organized and observed the Jagannath Ratha Yatra festival at Baroda, Gujarat, India.
The local response to the festival has become almost “overwhelming”.
Local political leaders from both the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress Party, including Baroda's Mayor and Member of Parliament, Sri Balkrishna Shukla, and other leaders came on the morning of the Ratha Yatra to the temple for darshan of Lord Jagannath and the new Deity dresses.
Sri Balkrishna Shukla, Baroda Mayor and M.P., and the District Collector of Baroda, Sri Vijay Nehera inaugurated the procession at the Railway Station, in the midst of thousands of onlookers, devotees, and a huge posse of local police personnel.
Large crowds pulled the ropes of Lord Jagannath's cart throughout the route of the procession. Devotees performed kirtans led by Premabhakti Das from Chicago, Bhakti Vinoda Swami and Jasomatinandan Das.
Hundreds of people approached Lord Jagannath's Rath with offerings of fruits, flowers, flower garlands, sweets and money during the entire length of the procession.
Members of the Muslim community welcomed the Ratha Yatra and also made offerings of garlands to Lord Jagannath at several places along the route.
The members of the Sikh gurudwara committee also offered garlands to Lord Jagannath and the “Saropa” (ceremonial cloth) to Basu Ghosh Das, ISKCON Baroda temple president, who was seated on the Rath cart.
Fifteen tons of “halava” prasad, all cooked in “deshi ghee” was distributed from trucks moving behind the cart. Later on at ISKCON Baroda, full plates of prasad were distributed to approximately forty thousand visitors, life members and VIPS.