Chakra Announcements

Chariot Fest: June 25th

by Caru das

Posted June 14, 2005

What: Chariot Fest
Where: Krishna Temple, 8628 S Main St., Spanish Fork, Utah 84660
When: Saturday, June 25th at 5 pm
Contacts: Caru and Vai 798-3559/787-1510

The Chariot Festival will be held Saturday June 25th at the Krishna Temple one mile south of Spanish Fork on Main St. This festival is modeled after the oldest ongoing festival known to man.

For the last three thousand years the Jagannatha Chariot Festival has been observed in Puri, a town in the Indian state of Orissa. Annually in the month of June, the town of 70,000 swells to one million population as pilgrims arrive from all parts of India (and the world) to help pull the gigantic Chariot of Jagannatha (Jagat=Universe, Natha=Lord, Lord of the Universe). The chariot in Puri is built afresh each year, is five stories high, has sixteen massive wheels, and takes hundreds of people to hand pull it through the streets.

The festival was introduced to the western countries in 1965. Today it is celebrated all over the world: London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Madrid, New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, etc. Our Spanish Fork version of this epic event will naturally be more modestly staged, yet remain true to its content.

From the Omlingam Performing Arts School in Los Angeles, Ganesh Easwar and his student Saku Rodrigo will perform: Easwer, Ganesh, a resident of Los Angeles, California, is the first male disciple of the late guru Sri. Rajarathnam Pillai. Ganesh has shown deep involvement and interest in dance, music and yoga from his childhood.

In 1996, he performed as the principal male dancer and choreographer with Padma Menon Dance Theater, Australia, for their works "Relations" and "Agni" touring Australia from May 96 Until October 96. In November 1996, he performed with Padma Menon Dance Theatre in major cities in India, namely Bombay, Bangalore, and Calcutta, as part of the Australian Government New Horizon Trade and Cultural Program. He has also performed many solo Bharathanatyam dance recitals during 1996 and 1997. Dance critics have given outstanding reviews about Ganesh's performance in the leading newspapers, both in Australia and in India.

Local dancers Naimisha, and Surabhi, and Neera Kobasijevich will each in turn grace the stage with talent and beauty. Other elements of the celebrations will be: Film narrated by movie actress Hayley Mills entitled, "The Famous Chariot Festival of Puri." The complete, unabridged 30 minute stage version of the all-time favorite devotional comedy, Scholar and the Boatman, will be enacted by Jai Krishna Perry & Sydhartha Manna.

The Timpanogas Pipe Band will give a concert of stirring bagpipe tunes from the stage and lead the Parade of Lord Jagannatha's horse drawn carriage around the roads circling the temple. Festival goers are invited to join the parade by playing musical instruments (their own or those supplied by the temple), leading gaily decorated llamas, riding floats, holding flags, and/or singing and dancing. The parade will be a grand finale to the event which starts at 5 pm.

Throughout, festival goers can purchase hot meals, consisting of curries with homemade cheese (paneer), rice pilao, cherry hallava, Indian breads, mango lassi etc.

There will be exhibits on the art, culture, dance styles, history, and cuisine of India.

Admission fee is $ 3.00 adults, $ 1.00 children.

For more information contact Caru or Vai at 798-3559/787-1510 or visit the web site

Best wishes,
Caru das and Vaibhavi