The much-awaited festival of chariots finally after one year of absence, glided through the streets of the capital city of Kenya, Nairobi, with all glamour and grandeur. Hundreds of wanainchi (members of the public) came out on the streets to watch this colorful festival and the grand cart carrying the Lord of the Universe - Jagannatha, along with His brother Baladeva and sister Subhadra, who came out of the temple to bless everyone.
The county Governor Hon. Dr. Evans Kidero was the guest of honor among other VIP guests. The county senator Hon. Mike Sonko made a grand entry later on and joined all the guests to do aarti for the Lords before the start of the procession.
Sing, dance and pray for peace in Kenya was the theme of the festival this year. Devotees danced and sang throughout the central business district to the temple, and invited members of public to join them dance to the tunes of one of the best kirtaneers Nitai Priya Dasa who flew in for the festival from Thailand. Brihat Bhagavat Swami, Narasimha Swami and Rama Govinda Swami graced the occasion too, along with devotees from different communities within East Africa. Many school children who are recipient of ISKCON’s Food for Life Program also attended the festival.
Arti - third from left is the county senator Mike Sonko, second from right is the County Governor Dr. Evans Kidero.
The 40-feet high chariot was pulled by enthusiastic onlookers and devotees, as the Mahamantra echoed in all the corners of the city center. The 3-kilometer route was covered in 5 hours.
Over 3,000 plates of prasadam were distributed at the end of the festival to all those who brought the Lords back to the temple.[ festival-of-chariots ] [ jagannatha ] [ kenya ] [ nairobi ] [ ratha-yatra ]