Rathyatra & Festival of India 2017
On Sunday May 28th 2017, celebrates ISKCON Baltimore's 15th Annual Rathayatra (Chariot Parade) & Festival of India in downtown Baltimore's world famous Inner Harbor. The festival site will be McKeldin Square (Corner of Light and Pratt St.) Over the years we have received Citations of Appreciation from past and present Governors, Mayors, State Senators & local Councilmen and delegates praising the intrinsic cultural and spiritual value of this event. This has culminated in an official proclamation of Rathayatra Day from the Mayor's office.
- It is with great pleasure that we take this opportunity to invite you to attend Baltimore’s Annual Rathayatra Parade and Festival of India on Sunday, May 29th 2016. The Parade begins at 12:00pm at the corner of Key Highway and Light Street behind the Science Center at the Inner Harbor, continuing up Light Street and ending at McKeldin Square on the corner of Pratt and Light Streets for the opening ceremonies of the Festival of India starting at 2pm.The last twelve years of festivals were a grand success, drawing not only thousands of local Maryland participants, but people from as far as New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina and even Florida. Local television stations and newspapers also covered the event. Over 2,500 plates of free vegetarian food were distributed to participants and passersby each year and the afternoon was filled with Indian style entertainment in the form of music, dance, song and drama. We were grateful to receive Citations of Appreciation from Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, former Senator John A. Giannetti Jr, former Governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr and former Mayors Martin O’Malley’s and Sheila Dixon's offices, and local Councilmen and Delegates from Catonsville personally attended. We received official Proclamations each year from the Mayor's office proclaiming this day as Rathayatra Day.This event is sponsored by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) of Baltimore, a non-profit religious organization since 1966. Your distinguished presence would make this event especially complete and successful, and we look forward in anticipation to your favorable response.Jaya Jagannath !
- Ratha Yatra means Chariot Festival. Ratha Yatra originating 5,000 years ago in India, on the East Coast state of Orrisa, in a city called Jagannatha Puri. The Festival celebrates Lord Krishna's return to Vrindavan and is held annually in the months of June-July to honor Lord Jagannatha. Millions of people from around the world descend upon of Jagannath Puri (India) to celebrate this unbelievable festival.
Usually the deities of Lord Jagannath, Balarama and Subhadra are worshipped within the temple, but on the day of the Rath Yatra festival they are taken through the streets so that everyone can have the fortune of seeing them. Richly decorated chariots, resembling temple structures, are pulled through the streets of Jagannath Puri. This commemorates the annual journey of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balarama, and their sister Subhadra to the Gundicha Temple, situated 2 km from their temple. During the festival, devotees from all over the world go to Jagannath Puri with an earnest desire to help pull the chariot with the ropes. The huge processions accompanying the chariots play songs with drums, tambourines, trumpets etc. Children line the streets through which the chariot will pass and add to the mass chorus. It is also telecasted live on many Indian channels and International channels.
The Festival of Chariots was first performed outside of India on July 9, 1967 in San Francisco , under the supervision of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada, as he is more affectionately known, is the Founder-Acarya of the International Society of Krishna Consciousness. Srila Prabhupada first got the idea for performing the festival in San Francisco , while looking out the window of his room above Frederick Street . Today, the Festival of the Chariots is performed around the world, including down 5th Avenue in Manhattan , along Pacific Coast Highway in Laguna Beach and through Golden Gate Park in San Francisco .
ISKCON Baltimore is celebrating Rath Yatra since year 2002. This is 14th year of grand celebration.
Opportunities are plentiful to take part in the Lord’s devotional service at Rathayatra.
Many devotees of Lord Jagannatha step forward and sponsor an aspect or feature of the festival.
All the Rathayatra festivals are run by teams of committed volunteers. Each of them giving time and service to the event.
How much is it to sponsor?
Different aspects of the festival are sponsored at different amounts.
Flower / Decoration
Deity Outfit (Dress)
Prasadam (Food For Life)
If you would like to help in a practical way, either as a donor or as a volunteer please let us know.
Please send your contribution to:
ISKCON Baltimore Rathyatra
200 Bloomsbury Ave.
Catonsville, MD 21228
This festival represents a local attempt by ISKCON of Baltimore to fulfill that mission. Your financial support will go a long way in making the event possible. In return you will not only get spiritual benefit for your support but will have the opportunity to present your business and services to thousands of potential customers. Your ad appearing on the banner at the festival will have a lasting effect in people’s minds.
Please review our Rathyatra Overview document. It contains photos, newspaper articles, citations from political heads and other facts and figures to help you understand the size and scope of this event so you can make an informed decision to offer your support. We look forward to your participation.
Baltimore Rathayatra Festival Committee
Every year we distribute more than 6000 plates of free vegetarian prasad. Many people like to support this great effort by offering a gift or donation to the Festival Fund.
Please click here to make your contribution !