Photos: Rath Yatra Paris 2012

The chances are you have heard about the Rath Yatra in Jagannath Puri, Orissa. Over this weekend, ISKCON recreated this event in Paris. In order to accomplish this task, they created a rath(chariot) decked with idols and pulled it through the streets of Paris from Place du Colonel Fabien to Place Joachim du Bellay with the help of devotees. Such an endeavor, in the tiny yet overpopulated city of Paris, can bring life to a halt. It was so well planned affair that normal life went on without much interruption.

By 2 pm, Place du Colonel Fabien was crowded. The chants of "Hare Rama Hare Krishna" was all over the place along with incessant chatter, jingles and drum beats. After a dance performance in a made up stage and an address by various prominent personalities from the ethnic/religious communities, the procession started. There were a lot of things that amazed me.







The organizers were foresighted. There were medical personnels accompanying the procession. As there are people belong to different age groups present in the procession, better be prepared for emergencies. If that was not enough, there was free food. The volunteers were carrying it around in big steel trays. They quickly replenished it as soon as the trays were emptied. Drinks were available at the food truck which was a few meters ahead of the rath. The procession had police escorts too. This helped in clearing the traffic well ahead of time thereby enabling the rath to move without interruption. It also helped the public to be caught in the middle of excitement.








The chanting of "Hare Rama Hare Krishna" was contagious. The crowd went from guarded caution to careless abandon in a few minutes. People around the rath started jumping up and down in the air. Some were dancing. The good dancers were teaching others how to join the fun. My lessons were two-fold from observing the crowd. If you are in the middle of an ecstatic crowd, you become ecstatic too. The second lesson is more related to human nature than philosophy. The police station invigorates the crowd. The procession passed in front the police station in the 10th arrondissement. At this place, the crowds went wild and invited the cops to join in. The cops beamed in return.








Parisians who weren't the part of the procession often paused, checked and moved on. Of course, there were many looking outside from their balconies and windows. Many of them wanted to save the memory on their smartphones.








Finally the procession reached the destination. There were dance performances, songs, stalls and free food there. Even after 5 hours, the crowd was still ecstatic when I decided to go home. I do not know how they are going to manage the Monday. In my mind I already have started thinking about it and it was time for me leave.






Finally the procession reached the destination. There were dance performances, songs, stalls and free food there. Even after 5 hours, the crowd was still ecstatic when I decided to go home. I do not know how they are going to manage the Monday. In my mind I already have started thinking about it and it was time for me leave.

Tags: Photos

Comments

  1. Good Blog. I like the photo with the medical team.

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    1. Thank you. Inspired from my photography guru. :)

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  2. And thank you for bringing the Rath Yatra to us. It's fun to learn about all that's happening in that part of the world.

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    1. Looks like you had fun. Is this an annual affair, Nona? Or is this the first time that Paris is witnessing something like this?

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    2. This is conducted every year. I was tired after walking with the procession and shooting.

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