Devotees sing bhajans, dance during Rath Yatra at Kharghar
Jagannath Rath Yatra is one of the few occasions where thousands of Odias from across Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and the peripheral areas gather at Kharghar with much fanfare. Wednesday proved to be no exception.
Shree Jagannath Sevaks of the city led by led by Jai Jagannth Lok Taran Trust, Kharghar organised the grand festival at Sector 12 for the eleventh year and it will continue till July 14.
“The Supreme Lord in his four-fold manifestation — Lord Jagannatha, lord Balabhadra, goddess Subhadra and Sudarshana — came out of the temple to provide darshan to devotees,” said Bibhuti Rath, one of the organisers.
“The God travelled on a wooden chariot pulled by Shree Jagannatha bhakts from the temple to the Shiv temple, sector-12 and will remain their till the return (Bahuda Yatra) on the same chariot on July 14,” he added.
The temple at sector 12 became symbolic aunt’s place for Lord. God will stay at aunt’s place for 9 days and then will returns on the same chariot called Bahuda Yatra.
In the Rath Yatra the deities came out of temple in a traditional procession called Pahandi, amid chanting of mantras and slokas.
“During the procession, the deities wore a traditional crown called ‘tahia’ which was specially ordered and brought from Odisha. When the deities went on the chariot, the ‘tahia’ was removed and the devotees took part of it and keep with them as a sacred thing,” he said.
The rath or the wooden chariot was decorated and adorned with flowers and was worshipped by the priests. The rope which was used to pull the chariot was also worshipped.
“Aarti was performed by the group of priests and Bhog was offered. After this, the pulling of the chariot began. It is said that devotees who get a chance to pull and touch the pious ropes get divine blessings and wash their sins,” he further said.
During the Rath Yatra, there were traditional cultural programmes such as the Odissi dance, Gotipua dance and singing of bhajans.
The officials of Rapid Action Force (RPF) also organised the festival within their compound at Kharghar.
They have been organising it for the past 26 years and their celebration is open to all. I have introduced in the standing The Jagannath Rath Yatra at Kharghar was a grand procession with hundreds of devotees pulling the chariot on Wednesday.
A week after they were evicted from sector 9A, around 200 hawkers have been shifted to an open space behind Vashi bus depot.
The hawkers are complaining that they have to sit amidst sludge, water and garbage in the area. They also have to shut their business and run for shelter when it starts to pour. The hawkers had been occupying the prime location at sector 9 for years.
In a massive drive by the municipal corporation, they were removed last week. The hawkers had been doing business at Sector 9 for the past 15 to 20 years. Some of them have licences.
Devki Chaudhary, a vendor, said: “This place is unhygienic and hence people will not come here. It will affect our business.”
She added, “We first did business at sector 15. The NMMC then shifted us to sector 9. Now we have been dumped here in all this filth. Despite being here for the past several days, not much business has happened.”
Another hawker Anusaya Jhunjrekar said, “There are no facilities here. They should have at least constructed temporary sheds. We are licenced hawkers, not anti-social elements.”
Residents too are not very happy. Prita Bannerjee, a resident, said: “The sector 9 market was easily approachable. However, they should have chosen a more hygienic place to sell vegetables.”
Hawkers’ union leader Prafull Mhatre said: “The NMMC has chosen this spot as per the need of the residents. We have been assured that NMMC will provide facilities here.”
He added, “There is a need to publicise that there is a market here and we are doing it to ensure the hawkers do business here.”
Vashi ward officer Mahendra Singh Thoke said: “Only licence holders will be get all facilities here. Based on the response from customers, the market will be developed and facilities provided.”