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Photographer's Note

This kid is one among the million crowd assembled for the famous Puri Chariot Festival.

Ratha Yatra is a major Hindu festival associated with Lord Jagannath held at Puri in the state of Orissa, India during the months of June or July (Rainy Season). Most of the city's society is based around the worship of Jagannath (Krishna) with the ancient temple being the fulcrum of the area. The festival commemorates Krishna's return to His home in Vrindavan after a long period of separation from the people there.

This commemorates the annual journey of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and their sister Subhadra to their aunt' s temple (Gundicha Mandir) which is situated at a distance of 2 km from their temple. New chariots are built every year. This is the only day when devotees who are not allowed in the temple premises such as non-Hindus and foreigners, can get their glimpse of the deities. During the festival, devotees from all over India go to Puri with an earnest desire to touch the rope of the chariot. They consider this a pious deed and risk their lives in the huge crowd. The huge processions accompanying the chariots play devotional songs with drums, tambourines, etc. Children line the streets through which the chariot will pass and add to the mass chorus. The Rath carts themselves are some approximately 45 feet high and are pulled by the thousands of pilgrims who turn up for the event. Millions of devotees congregate at Puri for this annual event from all over the country and abroad. It is also telecasted live on many Indian channels.

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Additional Photos by Radeeh Ramesan (RADEEH) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 488 W: 15 N: 737] (2802)
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