Templegoers celebrate at colourful chariot festival

PUBLISHED: 17:51 19 September 2016

The Mayor of Redbridge Cllr Gurdial Bhamra and Ilford South MP Mike Gapes

The Mayor of Redbridge Cllr Gurdial Bhamra and Ilford South MP Mike Gapes

Parikshit Kumar

Hundreds of people watched the Mayor of Redbridge crack a coconut open this weekend, at the beginning of a Hare Krishna festival.

Jagannath Rathayatra – or chariot festival – marks the story of Jagannath’s visit to a temple in Puri, Odisha, India,

The celebrations, which were the biggest in east London, started outside Redbridge Town Hall, in High Road, Ilford, before the procession made its way to Valentines Park, in Cranbrook Road, Ilford.

Deities of Jagannath, another form of Lord Krishna, his older brother Balarama and younger sister Subhadra, were paraded through the borough.

Organiser Yogesh Sharma said: “Everyone who attended this wonderful festival was so happy to take part.

“The East London Hare Krishna community would like to say “Hare Krishna” to everyone!

“The mayor, Cllr Bhamra was pleased by the festival and thanked the organisers for organising this amazing event and extended his support to all good work of Hare Krishnas to Redbridge.

“He very kindly invited local people to join in this good cause to uplift the spirit of people in the borough.”

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