California (LocalWire) July 11: The indomitable bond that an Odia person shares with Lord Jagganath cannot be described in words but can only be felt during the Rath Yatra and people in Fremont at California were no different while they celebrated the chariot festival on 7 July here.
The Rath Yatra was organised by the Odisha Society of California at the Vedic Dharma Samaj Hindu temple and celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm leading to record participation of devotees, many of whom also volunteered to help build and decoration of the Rath during evening hours and weekends.
After mangal arati and archana in the morning, the Pahandi began at 11 am with devotees carrying the deities from the temple to the Rath on the Palki, while the temple kitchen prepared the special Odia menu of rice, daal, besara, tomato khatta, kheer for prasad sevan.
The real excitement of the devotees could be seen with the chants of ‘Jai Jagannath!’ and reverberations of the ghantas as people of all ages pulled the Rath with a lot of excitement and passion around the temple building.
The Society also organised a cultural program during the occasion that included a wide selection of acts – from singing bhajans and kirtans to classical Odissi dance.
As per the rituals, the lords will return to their abode on Sunday and devotees will be able to also be able to witness suna bhesha.