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ISKCON Nagpur Takes Part 
in Grand Ramanavami Festival

By Sankirtan dasa
Click on each photo 
for full size.
Ramanavami in Nagpur
Ramanavami in Nagpur
Ramanavami in Nagpur

Ramanavami festivals have been celebrated for almost nine hundred thousand years, to commemorate the advent of Sri Rama. One of the grandest Ramanavami festivals to be seen in India is held in Nagpur, a city of 2.5 million people, located in Maharastra State, central India. The grand procession organized to celebrate Ramanavami is unique.

The Hare Krishna devotees have been participating for 15 years, and almost every time, ISKCON Nagpur has won the prize for the best performance of Harinama Sankirtan during the procession. The parade goes over 12 km and last for 8 hours, from 5 PM to 1 AM.

Starting from the oldest temple in town, the Rama Mandir, a total of 84 floats depicting the pastimes of the Lord move slowly down the commercial area. Bullock carts and trucks serve as means to transport the displays. Everywhere the letters "Rama" are visible— on badges, hats, flags, banners, and display boards.

Some of us foreign devotees were a bit worried that maybe a tumult might break out. We were seeing the huge crowds lining the streets, and then we even crossed a Muslim section of the town. But there was no trace of aggression. We even saw faithful Muslims throwing marigold flowers upon the devotees.

No doubt, the floats were very attractive for contemplating the Lord's pastimes, but the kirtan and dancing by the devotees on our trucks made people really participate. As one person from the crowd said, "It is that chanting that really brings Lord Rama back into our hearts."

Ramanavami in Nagpur is an experience. How about joining next year?

© CHAKRA 28 April 2002

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