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Australian Capital Canberra Hosts Car Festival

By Fnf correspondent | PUBLISHED: 10, Jul 2024, 10:04 am IST | UPDATED: 10, Jul 2024, 10:09 am IST

Australian Capital Canberra Hosts Car Festival
New Delhi: The Australian Capital Territory (ACT), Canberra hosted 14th Car Festival of Lord Jagannath with Pomp, Splendour and much fanfare. The Celebration was organised by Hindu Temple and Cultural Centre at Florey in association with the local Odia Communities and Canberra chapter of Hindu Council of Australia.  Special religious rituals like Sankalp Puja and Mangala Arati were performed before the Four Deities at the Hindu Temple located at 81, Ratcliffe Crescent around dawn for the first time in the history of Australian Rathayatra by three Priests Acharya Prakash Pandey, Pandit Pradeep Bhatt and Pandit Anup Jani. The Temple was aesthetically and elegantly decorated befitting to the auspicious occasion. This year tremendous enthusiasms and unprecedented excitements were witnessed among the 2000 devotees gathered here to take part in the Grand ceremony. Apart from local residents hundreds of Odias and Non – Odia devotees along with their family members and relatives descended at Hindu Temple from far off cities like Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Rural New South Wales State  and other parts of Australia during the Mega Event.
At about 10.00 a.m. in morning the Dhadi Pahandi of the Deities commenced. First Lord Sudarshana, then Elder Brother Balabhadra followed by Maha Devi Subhadra and at the end Lord of the Universe Mahaprabhu Shree Jagannath were taken in procession to the colourfully decked up chariot parked in front of the temple. The splendid scene of Goddess Subhadra being carried on in swinging manner to the Chariot by exclusively Lady members was momentous and memorable. Senior Community leaders Kanti Jinna, Prakash Mehta and Basu Banka conducted the traditional sweeping in front of the chariot called Chherra Pahanra. With the recitals of hymns, roaring of slogans like Hari Bol and Jai Jagannath, sounding of Hulahuli and playing of musical instruments like Ghanta, Kartala, Mardala, Jhanja and Mrudanga, the chariot pulling started at around 11.00 a.m. The Royal chariot with Four Deities on board had a majestic sojourn on the street of Florey for 3 KM and was then pulled back to the temple premises. Representatives of all the Hindu Temples situated in Canberra and local Community Organisations actively supported and participated in the Rath Yatra. Prasadam was prepared by devotees from ISKCON Temple with the help of volunteers from Canberra Odia community.
The distinguished dignitaries, who graced the Car Festival include Multicultural Minister Hon’ble Micheal Pettersson Representative of ACT CM, Head of Chancery Hon’ble Yogender Singh, Leader of the Opposition of ACT Assembly Hon’ble Elizabeth Lee, Members of ACT Assembly Hon’ble Jo Clay, Hon’ble Andrew Braddock and lead of Canberra Odia Community Rozalin Rout.
The highlights of the spectacular Cultural extravaganza, presented during this Year’s Rath Yatra include recitals of soul soothing Bhajans by the local devotees and presentations of scintillating Dance performances by students of Nrityashree Dance Academy lead by Debashree Das and Arun Nayak with group.
Entire arrangements of Ghosha Yatra was smoothly conducted under the active and able stewardships of President of Hindu Temple and Cultural Centre Lakhan Sharma,Vice President Tarun Agasti, Public Officer Santosh Gupta, President of Australia’s Odia Society (ORIOZ INC.) Manoj Nayak, Former Presidents Dr Nalini Pati, Sujeet Jena, President of Hindu Council of Australia’s ACT chapter Shanti Reddy and former President of HCA Prakash Mehta. The mammoth religious carnival attained historic success due to the overwhelming support and co –operation extended by the representatives of local Hindu Community, leaders of Odia Diaspora, Prime Community Organisations like Causmag Ore & Integrated Culture ACT, Leading Business Firms like Sunny Homes, Shine and Rise, Aussie Home Loan and Desi Bazar. The goodwill messages wishing the all out success of the Car Festival were received from Senator Katy Gallagher and MP Andrew Leigh.
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