The glorious procession of Sri Sri Krishna Balarama in a chariot,
Ratha Yatra Festival was conducted by ISKCON Hubli-Dharwad on February 7th 2015. The procession started with an inaugural function at Durgadbail circle, one of the busiest places in Huballi at 5:30pm. The Ratha Yatra was flagged off by Sri Sri Siddha Shivayogi Mahaswamigalu of Sri Siddharood Matha, Devarhubli along with Sriman Madhupandit Dasa, President, ISKCON Bangalore and Sriman Chanchalapati Dasa, Vice-President, ISKCON Bangalore. Former Chief Minister of Karnataka and Opposition Party Leader Sri Jagdeesh Shettar was the chief guest. Sri Mahadev Karmari – Industrialist, Sri Ravindraprasadh – Police Commissioner of Huballi, Dr. Venkata Ramana Joshi – Madhwa Scholar were also present during the occasion.
The deities, Sri Sri Krishna Balarama were graciously adorned in gorgeous garments with golden embellishment and dazzling jewels. Seated in a Ratha, colourfully decorated with flowers and fancy lights, their Lordships took their pleasure stroll in the busy streets of Huballi. An artist ensemble from Kerala lead the procession with chenda melam performance convoyed with gracious dance steps. The people of Huballi basked in the mood of devotion as Sri Sri Krishna Balaram casted their merciful glances upon them.
The devotees were totally absorbed in the ecstasy of devotion with constant singing of Hare Krishna Mahamantra accompanied by musical instruments such as cymbals, mridangas, congo drums and flute. The holy names Hare, Krishna and Rama echoed throughout and engorged the people.
The Chariot rambled through the busy streets of Huballi such as Maratha Galli, Station Road, Lamington Road, Koppikar Road, Dajibanpet and Ranichennamma circle. The pedestrians and commuters willingly gave way to the procession to progress. The streets were sprinkled with water and colorful rangoli were laid down by enthusiasts. Their Lordships were suitably welcomed by the people by showering flower petals and offering fruits & coconut. About one lakh cups of Kichadi prasadam was served throughout the procession path.
The Chariot reached Nehru Stadium at 8:30pm. The deities were carried on an aesthetically decorated Pallaki from Ratha to the Stadium Dias. Spectacular fireworks were performed in the stadium to welcome the deities. Sriman Madhupandit Dasa delivered a short engaging discourse on chanting Hare Krishna Mahamantra. The deities gave their darshan to the huge congregation of devotees assembled in the vast stadium at 9:30pm with the accompaniment of roaring kirtans.
The festival came to a close at 10pm with distribution of sumptuous prasadam to more than 4000 people.