The Festival of the Chariots, also known as Ratha-yatra, or “cart-festival”, originates from an ancient tradition in India. It commemorates a joyous celebration of life and glorification of God. The ancient annual Ratha-yatra parade in Jagannatha Puri, India, attracts one million people every year. The tradition was brought to the West in 1967 by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Today it is celebrated in most major cities of the world, including London, Moscow, Toronto, Johannesburg, Delhi ,New York , Chennai and Bangalore.
Nothing charms devotees and the public alike more than the Ratha-yatra parade of Lord Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra. The Ratha-yatra parade occurs two weeks later when Jagannatha comes out from His traditional period of seclusion after His grand bathing ceremony. He mounts His chariot for the Ratha-yatra parade and any person who pulls on the attached ropes becomes liberated from the cycle of samsara. Prasadam, kirtan, transcendental books, enlightening exhibits and colorful entertainment is lavished upon tens of thousands of surprised participants.
This year , ISKCON Jodhpur will be celebrating its 4th Annual Ratha Yatra in the city of Jodhpur.