You can look forward to loads of Durban Festival of Chariots news and information in the coming weeks. With the festival less than four weeks away, many devotees are busy with planning, preparation and final touches. We will highlight events at the festival and also bring you news on what is new. This week we are happy to share the details of both chariot parade routes and times:
Chariot Parade Routes
Friday, 18 April, 10.30am
Starting opposite Tropicana Hotel on OR Tambo Parade (Upper Marine Parade) at the car park, proceeding north towards Blue Waters Hotel. At Blue Waters Hotel, turning left going down Sandile Thusi Road and then turning left into Sylvester Ntuli Road and finally entering the festival site. This route is 2.8km.
Monday, 21 April, 5pm
Starting at the festival site, turning right into Sylvester Ntuli Road, turning left at the robots into Somtseu Road, then left into Snell Parade, heading towards Blue Waters Hotel, then turning left going down Sandile Thusi Road and then left into Sylvester Ntuli Road and finally entering the festival site. This route is 1.5km.
We request all devotees and well wishers to arrive at the start of the parade on time, by 10.30am on Friday and 5pm on Monday, to receive the Deities and thus ensure a punctual start. This years Friday parade will be just two hours long, and the Monday parade just 90 minutes long, so arriving early, or at least on time is a must.
There is a pre-festival, a buildup to Lord Jagannath mounting His chariot. On Sunday, 30 March at 11am, is the blessed Snana-yatra (publicly viewed bathing ceremony) of Lord Jagannath at the New Jagannath Puri Temple in Phoenix. This festival will be led by His Holiness Bhakti Caitanya Swami. Generally only trained brahmanas are allowed to bathe the deity form of the Lord, on this day a special dispensation to bathe the deity is given to everyone who attends the Snana-yatra at New Jagannath Puri in Phoenix. Please offer your gratitude by donating generously according to your capacity or more. All proceeds will be engaged in the Ratha-yatra festival organisation. Bhakti Caitanya Maharaj will also give the class at the Sri Sri Radha Radhanath Temple Sunday Love Feast at 4pm.
As you know the Ratha-yatra festival, is done voluntarily and primarily based on donations. We are always looking for volunteers. If you are able to give your time or other resources please contact: Merumala Dasi on 0836760844.
If you can accommodate some the many visiting sannyasis, gurus, senior devotees and guests, we require assistance in taking care of them and ensuring that their experience is a memorable one. Please contact the following devotees if you are able to assist with transport, accommodation and various other needs for our visiting guests.
Cell – 082 781 2944
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Srinivas Acarya Das
Cell – 082 885 8873
Email – Ricky.email@example.com
Anandamaya Krishna Das
Cell – 0712436985
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also view or download the March/April issue of Hare Krishna News on this website. We have dedicated nine pages to the Durban Festival of Chariots. You can read about the love between Lord Caitanya and Lord Jagannath, Festival of Chariots highlights, features on the Blue Mountain Children’s Theme Park, Bhaktimarg Swami’s dramas, children can draw their own chariots, and we have also included the beautiful song Sri Jagannathastakam, which you can bring along to sing to the Lord at the festival.
Finally, you can listen or download His Holiness Devamrita Swami’s classes from https://soundcloud.com/durbankrishna and the Bhaktivedanta College begins the Bhagavad-gita Brief Overview on Friday, 28 March at 7pm. Call Divesh 0741626835 for details.
As always, we look forward to seeing you and hope this finds you in the best spirits,
Your friends at Sri Sri Radha Radhanath Temple