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Thousands throng to watch Jain rath yatra

    Ahmedabad (Gujarat), September 22, 2012: Thousands of Jain devotees thronged the streets to get a glimpse of the spectacular rath yatra in the city on Saturday. The five-km-long procession had hundreds of chariots with a musical extravaganza.

    Organised by Rangsagar Jain Sangh, the rath yatra was held on the first day of an eight-day celebration. The procession started from Rangsagar Jain Sangh, Paldi, passed Dr Ambedkar Bridge, Krupasagar Jain Derasar, Lakshmi Vardhak, Shantivan, Chandranagar, Gharda-ghar and returned to Rangsagar Jain Sangh covering a distance of five km.

    The yatra, which lasted two-and-a-half hours, was the first rath yatra after the end of Paryushan. More than 700 Jain sadhus and sadhvis as well as 20 Jain acharyas, including several children, participated in the yatra. The main attraction was the beautifully decorated silver rath. It was a 450-kg pure silver chariot carrying the idol of Shantinath Bhagwan. ‘Raja’- a musical band from Jamalpur was also a major draw.

    Two horses were decorated in Rajwadi attire. Students of the Shalibhadra Jain group decorated the rath. Hundreds of devotees hand pulled the rath having ancient idols of Jain tirthankars.

    “The beauty of this year’s rath yatra was the simplicity. We have showcased the yatra in a very subtle manner,” said Vishok Shah, a devotee and member of Rangsagar Upashray.
    “The rath yatra fulfils the first ‘kartavya’ (duty) of every Jain devotee after the end of Paryushan,” he added.

    The yatra was followed by a lecture by Acharya Dharmatilak Maharaj Saheb of Rangsagar Upashray. On Sunday, the Jain devotees will practise the ‘chaitya paripati’, where they will visit small derasars across the city and offer essentials for the deities known as ‘chaab’.

    The dedication and hard work of the devotees throughout the Paryushan will be felicitated at Rangsagar Upashray. – News Courtesy: Daily Bhaskar

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