One of India’s biggest and most ancient religious events, Ratha-yatra, the festival of the chariots enacts one of the world’s oldest and largest festivals. Based on the thousands-of-years-old annual parade of the Deities of the Jagannatha temple on huge chariots through the streets of Puri, Orissa, this festival has been staged by devotees of Lord Krishna in all major world cities such as London, Paris, New York, Washington, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Chicago, Montreal, Mumbai, Melbourne, Michigan etc.
Almost a million devotees participate in the chariot festival held every summer at Puri, where they offer oblations to Lord Krishna; lend a hand, tugging the ropes, to pull the huge chariots; line the grand route; or simply attend to see the color and pageantry from high vantage points. The three colossal chariots carry the three Deities of Lord Balarama, the Lord who gives spiritual strength and pleasure; Lady Subhadra, one who is the auspicious one; and Lord Jagannatha, the Lord of the universe. This journey symbolizing Lord Krishna’s visit to the town of His childhood pastimes, Vrindavan.