On Saturday 19 June 2004 , despite
heavy rains throughout the day, thousands of people lined the
Rath Yatra route for darshan.
The sadhus and devotees of BAPS Swaminarayan
Sanstha prepared a beautifully decorated chariot measuring 25
feet in length, 35 feet in height and 17 feet in width. The murtis
of Shri Akshar Purushottam Maharaj, Shri Jagannathji, Subhadraji
and Balramji were housed in the chariot. On both sides at the
front 40-feet long ropes were attached, by which the chariot was
pulled through the procession route.
At 2.30 p.m. Vedic verses were sung
and arti of the murtis was performed. Then, as per the traditional
custom, the chief guests swept the path in front of the chariot
using hand brooms at the start of the procession.
As the procession proceeded, devotees
took turns to pull the chariot and offer their devotion. Many
onlookers also joined in to pull the chariot.
Leading the procession were the children
and youths of Pramukh Dhvani Band.
Following the band were young children
in traditional customs performing traditional dances.
All these youngsters and devotees
braved the weather and joyfully participated in the procession
which ended at 7.00 p.m.
The final arti was performed outside
the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Bhavanipore, and after mahaprasad
the devotees departed.