Founder Acharya His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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Surat, India Witnesses Largest Ratha Yatra in 25 yrs and Exceeds Book Marathon Goals
By Thomas Haribol, ISKCON News Managing Editor   |  Jun 24, 2023

This year, Surat witnessed the largest and grandest Rath Yatra in the past 25 years. “The city was filled with devotees rushing to catch a glimpse of Lord Jagannatha,” said Jagannath Damodar Das, “There was a very heavy rush throughout the path to see the Lords of the Universe on the chariot.” Surat is a district in Gujarat, India, about 180 miles north of Mumbai.

Lord Jagannath embarked on a 15 km-long journey with committed book distributors serving the enthusiastic crowds. Devotees distributed books for six hours to onlookers and shops along the way, supplied by 15 devotees working out of two book vans. “By the mercy of Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra, they achieved the highest-ever record score for book distribution during any Rath Yatra Mahotsav in Gujarat,” said Jagannath Damodar.

A one-week book distribution marathon, beginning on June 11th and culminating on the Rath Yatra, aimed to share 51 sets of Srimad Bhagavatam and hundreds of transcendental books.

During the special Rath Yatra Marathon, devotees recited the Jagannathastakam daily, followed by reading Srila Prabhupada’s inspiring quotes on book distribution after Mangala Aarti. 

The final results of the successful marathon are:
89- Sets of Srimad Bhagavatam (18 Vol Set)
22- Set of Sri Chaitanya Charitamrta (9 Vol Set)
3798- Maha Big Books
384- Medium Books
2116-Small Books
200- Loose BTG copies

The whole Rath Yatra was efficiently administered by HG Vrindavan Prabhu (President), Sachisuta Prabhu, and HG Chandra-Govind Prabhu. Additionally, senior devotees from Surat graced the event with their presence. The book distribution parties were well-managed by HG Radhesh Prabhu and HG Arvindaksh Prabhu. A special thanks to Jagannath Damodar Das for sharing the details of this inspiring service with the larger ISKCON family.

To see additional photos from the marathon and Ratha Yatra, click here.