Fremont Hindu Temple, the first abode of Lord Jagannath in Bay Area, California, USA, and FOG Odisha together with members of the Odia Community in Bay Area hosted the 27th annual Ratha Yatra Utsav on Sunday, July 11.
Attended by members of the Odia community and the larger Indian American Community, the event attracted 600 plus people.
The Consul General of India in SFO, Dr TV Nagendra Prasad and his wife Padma, Anuraag Pal representing State Assembly member Alex Lee, Mayor of Fremont Lily Mei, Fremont City Council Member Teresa Cox graced the occasion.
The first Sri Jagannath sthapna by the Odia community in the Bay Area happened here at the Fremont temple and the temple has been following Lord Jagannath traditions and rituals for the past 27 years ritualistically that attracts folks from the Odia community, Indian American and beyond.
Mayor Lily Mei said “I have been attending the Ratha Jatra for over 15 years here at the Fremont Hindu Temple and enjoy the programs of the vibrant Odia and Indian American community”.
Devotees continued to follow Covid guidelines by wearing masks indoors and came to take blessings of the Holy Trinity.
Says Dr Romesh Japra, Chairman of the Fremont Temple, “The temple has finally opened with in person activities with this Ratha Yatra utsav.
By Lord Jagannath’s grace hopefully we will come out of the pandemic soon.
The Temple follows all the rituals to complete this annual tradition of Rath Yatra.
Its a blessing for us to be able to conduct Ratha Yatra every year and all due to the efforts of the temple management and a handful of Odia community members and devotees.”
He appreciated the contribution by an Odia senior member and a committed devotee, the late Shri Deba Mohanty who was instrumental in initiating and starting the first Ratha Jatra in Silicon Valley, here at Fremont Hindu Temple.
The Consul General and his wife felt blessed to have attended and participated in this holy event far away from our country India.
He congratulated Dr Japra, the organizers and the temple for hosting the event and was happy to see the in person participation praying that the pandemic goes away with the beginning of Ratha Yatra.