Devo­tees sing bha­jans, dance dur­ing Rath Yatra at Kharghar

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI - Pranab Jy­oti Bhuyan pranab.bhuyan@hin­dus­tan­ Tas­neem Kausar ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­

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.”

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