Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will inaugurate the famous Kolkata Rath Yatra organised by ISKCON for the second consecutive year on July 6.
Over lakh devotees are expected to pull the chariots of the deities – Lord Jagannath, Balaram and Subhadra – on the occasion. The Rath Yatra will pass through the important thoroughfares of the city, starting from Hungerford Street, opposite the ISKCON Temple on Albert Road.
ISKCON is celebrating its golden jubilee this year. The Chief Minister will reach the temple at around 10 am, and after a darshan, flag off the annual journey of the three deities, an ISKCON spokesperson said.
The chariots, or raths, will move through the Minto Park crossing, Sarat Bose Road, Hazra Road, SP Mukherjee Road, Ashutosh Mukherjee Road, then on to Exide crossing, JL Nehru Road, Outram Road, to end at Brigade Parade Ground, where daily special darshan of Lord Jagananth from July 7 to 14 has been arranged. Prasad will also be distributed during the darshans.
Cultural programmes, special contests for empowerment, a youth festival, and performances by Russian dancers and a Kolkata-based dance troupe will be held during the festival. Students will hold classes on reducing stress and mental fatigue.
The Ulta Rath Yatra will start at noon on July 14, when the raths will return to the Albert Road temple. During the return journey, the chariots will pass through JL Nehru Road, Esplanade, SN Banerjee Road, CIT Road, Suhrawardy Avenue and Shakespeare Sarani, to finally end on Hungerford Street.