Manchester.: The third largest city of U.K., Manchester hosted second Rath Yatra Festival of lord Jagannath with much fanfare and spiritual fervour. Commencing from the morning all the religious rituals have been performed before the Four Deities stationed at Gita Bhawan with utmost solemnity and pure devotion by the main priest Pandit Shyam Sunder Sharma. To mark the auspicious occasion Gita Bhawan was aesthetically decorated. This year’s Car Festival evoked unprecedented enthusiasm and unparalleled enchantments among the spectators gathered. Around 500 Odia and non Odia devotees congregated at Gita Bhawan to take part in the Holy Event. At about 12.45 p.m. the four deities were taken in Dhadi Pahandi procession to the colourful 18 ft. high chariot, parked outside Gita Bhawan. Superbly designed by Mike and his team, the chariot was decked up with an amazing Patachitra painting painted by Renowned Artists Bibek Babu and Pragyana Babu. The entire atmosphere got reverberated with the recitals of hymns, roaring slogans like Hari Bol, Jai Jagannath, sounding of hulahuli, blowing off conch and playing of musical instruments such as Ghanta, ,Mardala, Jhanja and Mrudanga. The highlight of the celebration was the Pahandi of Goddesss Subhadra being performed exclusively by ladies. The SeniorTrustee of Gita Bhawan Raj Kaushal conducted the traditional sweeping before the chariot called Chherra Pahanra. The most anxious moment came when the chariot pulling began at around 1.15 p.m. The street of Manchester witnessed the Royal Sojourn of the Lord of The Universe on board the chariot in a majestic manner. The Gods and Goddess’s caravan went through Wilbraham Road, Werburgh’s Road, Brantingham Road and Withington Road before get concluded at Gita Bhawan.
The distinguished dignitaries present include MP from Manchester Groton, Afzal Khan, MP from Stockport Navendu Mishra and famous physician Dr. Bibhu Mishra.
A spectacular cultural extravaganza consisting of presentation of dances in Odissi and Bharatnatyam styles, Radha Krushna dance drama staged by kids and soul soothing Bhajan Recital formed part of the Mega Event. The prime attraction of the cultural session was mesmerising Odissi dance performance by upcoming classical exponent Nirushree Mohanty. As announced by temple management the Deities will be offered Anna prasadam till Bahuda Day at Gundicha Temple. .The entire arrangement of the Rath Yatra Festival was well managed and neatly executed by the main organisers like Dr Siba Senapati, Rekha Senapati, Siba Ranjan Biswal, Bishnu Dash, Bibek Babu, Jeeban Panigrahi and Durgesh Panigrahi. The Hosts expressed their gratitude towards Manchester council, Manchester Police and highway Authorities for their unstinted support and overwhelming co – operation to make this year’s car Festival a massive success.