BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: UK
Front Page 
World 
UK 
England 
Northern Ireland 
Scotland 
Wales 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 



The BBC's Jane Hughes
"It was the largest Hindu festival outside India according to the organisers"
 real 56k

Sunday, 24 June, 2001, 15:04 GMT 16:04 UK
Huge crowds at Hindu festival
The festival takes place in London: Thousands join in
One of the biggest Hindu festivals outside India
Thousands of people are celebrating a major Hindu festival in central London.

The Rath Yatra was first brought to London in 1968 and has grown into the largest annual Hindu procession outside India.

In India it is a 5,000-year-old event, which commemorates the Indian god Krishna and is held annually in the Indian city of Puri.

The procession marks the way Krishna, in his form of Lord Jagannath, makes an annual visit to his birthplace.

Boy in colourful outfit with blue face paint
Colourful festival goers added to the spectacle
The organisers, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, hope it will one day surpass Notting Hill as London's most popular carnival.

Spokesman Ramesh Kallidai said it was a great fun day out for all the family.

"The magic is that 364 days of the year you go to a temple to worship the Lord. On that day the Lord comes out to see you," he said.

Highlight of the day are thousands of people pulling a 50ft chariot - while chanting "Hare Krishna" - from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square.

There devotees will place consecrated images of Lord Jagannath, a form of Krishna, at the base of Nelson's Column.

Organisers say they will then give a free meal to everyone attending the festival.

Colourful floats, musicians, dancers, costumed artists, bullock carts, stalls, music and plays are among the other attractions.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

23 May 01 | Business
House of Fraser offends Hare Krishna
09 Mar 01 | Media reports
India stages Ms World for eunuchs
21 Feb 01 | South Asia
Millions take final holy dip
27 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Ramayana hits UK stage
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more UK stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK stories