The Ratha Yatra festival has become a common sight in most major cities of the world since 1968 through the ISKCON Hare Krishna movement.
In 2017, grace is not restricted to Odisha alone. The Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath is celebrated in 192 countries, spanning across continents, that is equal to the total member states of the United Nations.
By the mercy of Lord Jagannath, Ratha Yatra now happens on an annual basis in places all over the world in over 170 cities including – Moscow, New York, London, Rome, Zürich, Kolkata, Mumbai, Karachi, Berlin, Heidelberg, Cologne, Florence, Wroclaw, Sydney, Perth, Kampala, Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Mexico City, Dublin, Belfast, Manchester, Birmingham, Alchevsk, Buenos Aires, Madrid, Stockholm, Bath, Budapest, Auckland, Melbourne, Montreal, Paris, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Toronto, Vancouver, Santiago, Tallinn, Lima, Antwerp, Sofia, Kuala Lumpur, Oslo, Zhongshan, Myitkyina, Singapore, Bangkok and many other cities.
It’s not an empty ritual or a mere imitation of a remote historical event, its a manifestation of the spirit of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (the world is one family), a perfect non-sectarian confluence of all school of thoughts from phylosophical and metaphysical level and varied grades of human consciousness.
At a time when ethnic / religious conflicts and extremist violence are threatening to destabilise societies, celebrations like this will serve as the perfect antidote to stem such negative tendencies and move us to a path of harmony and peace.