Rath Yatra celebrated in Houston City of U.S.A.

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Houston: The Fourth largest city of USA, Houston witnessed the celebration of 14th Annual Car Festival with pomp and splendour. The religious rituals commenced at the wee hours of the day with a pious and spiritual fervour. The worshipping, recitals of hymns, conduction of Yagna, reading of Bhagvad Gita, Jagannathashtakam, Gita Govinda and Dasavataar were held as per the traditional norms before the four deities.

To mark the auspicious occasion the entire structure of Odisha Culture Center at 3101, Fuqua Street where Lord Jagannath, Elder Brother Lord Balavadra, Goddess Subhadra and Lord Sudarshan were presently stationed, has been colourfully decked up. In the noon, the deities were offered 56 types of Bhog specially cooked at the state of the art kitchen in the center namely Ananda Bazar.

The Pahandi procession of the deities got started around 7 p.m. in the evening with the roaring of slogans like haribol, Jai Jagannath, sounding of Huluhuli, blowing of conch and playing of musical instruments such as Ghanta, Kartala, Mardal, Jhanja and mrudanga. The deities were majestically placed in the aesthetically decorated chariot. Around 7.30. p.m. in the evening Bansidhar Lenka from Bhubaneswar conducted the traditional sweeping of chariots called chhera pahanra.

After that amidst the kirtan and singing of bhajans and jananas the chariot was pulled to the Aunt’s House known as Gundicha Temple by 500 devotees assembled at the centre premises. The Consulate General of India based at Houston His Excellency Aseem Mahajan and Chairman of Sitaram Foundation Arun Verma graced the Ceremony as distinguished Guests. The highlight of the Event was the opening up of a health camp by the local physicians.

The special attraction of the Evening was the presentation of a colourful cultural jamboori consisting of scintillating dance performances in Odissi, Kathak, Bharatnatyam and Sambalpuri styles by upcoming and established artistes. Hosted by OCC the massive success of the Mega Event was possible and practicable due to the able and active stewardships of its Chairman Dr. Aditya Samal and President Dr. Debananda Pati.

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