The Ratha Yatra of Lord Jagannath Dev, one of the major festivals of the Hindu community, began today amid religious fervor and enthusiasm.
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKON) chalked out a nine-day programme in Dhaka. Like the previous years, the country's largest Ratha Yatra festival was held at Dhamrai in Manikganj district.
The programmes began in the morning with rendering of Harinam Sangkirtan, holding of Agnihotra Jagna seeking world peace and people's welfare, recitation of verses from holy Srimat Bhagabat Geeta, distribution of mohaprosad, discussion, rendition of padaboli kirtan and arati, cultural function, staging of religious drama and screening of religious films.
Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon joined the discussion as the chief guest. Awami League Joint Secretary Mahbub Ul Alam Hanif and Food Minister Qumrul Islam, among others, were present.
Later in the afternoon, three chariots of Lord Jagannath, his brother Balaram and sister Subhadra commenced their journey from the ISKON temple after Indian High Commissioner Harsh Vardhan Shringla inaugurated the festival by lighting up "Mongol Pradeep" (lamp of welfare).
Hundreds of devotees pulled the ropes of the chariots through different nearby city thoroughfares and returned to the temple.
Ratha Yatra of Jagannath Jeo Mandir began from Tantibazar in old city and travelled different city thoroughfares.
The festival will come to an end with Ulto Ratha Yatra on July 5.