The tour members performed at ISKCON Juhu and ISKCON Mira Road and won the hearts of Mumbai devotees with breathtaking stage performances.
The devotees of the ISKCON Mayapur's Safari Tour paid a four-day visit to Mumbai from 24 – 27 March 2009.
The Safari Tour was founded by Jayapataka Swami in 1986. Since then, every year after Mayapur's Gaura Purnima festival, Jayapataka Swami and several sannyasis and senior devotees lead devotees from across the world on various safari expeditions to Holy places in and around India.
This year, owing to health reasons, Jayapataka Swami is unable to leave Mumbai and lead the tour. The tour organizers and members thus decided to take the Safari Tour to Mumbai where Jayapataka Swami is recovering at Bhaktivedanta Hospital after suffering a severe stroke in October 2008. The safari tour has visited Nepal, Bangaladesh, Tirupait and many other Holy places since it was inaugurated almost twenty years ago.
The safari tour aims to take devotees from all over the world to every town and village across India to spread the devotional message of Lord Caitanya. The tour imparts an opportunity for devotees to connect with each other, hear Krishna’s pastimes from sannyasis and senior devotees, meet and associate with local people, priests and chant the Holy Names of Lord Krishna.
The Safari Tour in Mumbai included 120 devotees from 30 countries including Argentina, Italy, Australia, Peru, UK, Russia, Malaysia, Spain and many others. The tour members performed at ISKCON Juhu and ISKCON Mira Road and won the hearts of Mumbai devotees with breathtaking stage performances which included several music presentations, four types of drama, fire dance and incredible kirtans. A special highlight of the stage performance was a drama presentation led by Russia's Madhuraya Kadambini Devi Dasi.
While the tour members were staying at ISKCON Juhu, they paid visit to the Sri Sri Radha Gopinath Temple (Chowpatty), Sri Sri Radha Giridhari Temple (Mira Road) and Bhaktivedanta Hospital. Marici Dasa, the main tour organizer, explained that one of the main reasons to visit Mumbai was to express their earnest gratitude to Gopal Krishna Goswami, Radhanath Swami, Braj Hari Das, Jagjivan Dasa, Dr. Madhavanandan Dasa, Dr. Shymalal Dasa and several other doctors and devotees at Bhaktivedanta Hospital who took utmost care of Jayapataka Swami after he suffered an acute stroke in October 2008.
Jayapataka Swami offered certificates to the above mentioned devotees as an expression of his gratitude to them. Marici Dasa mentioned “We want to thank all the devotees in Mumbai who helped Jayapataka Swami cope with the critical stroke and the rehabihation that followed thereafter. We are here especially to express our gratitude to all who stood by us during those difficult times”.
The tour members attended the Sri Sri Radha Madan-Mohan Utsav murti installation at Navi Mumbai Khargar on 27 April 2009. Thereafter the tour proceeded to Tirupati to pray to Lord Balaji for the full recovery of Jayapataka Swami. They shall visit ISKCON Tirupati and Holy places in Tirupati such as Padmavati temple and the birthplace of Hanuman.