Ram Mandir Rath Yatra to travel 8,000 miles, visit 851 temples in 48 US states

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Washington: The Ram Mandir Rath Yatra will kick off from Chicago on Monday to travel to 851 temples in 48 states, crossing more than 8,000 miles over the next 60 days, organisers said Thursday.


The rath or chariot built over a Toyota Sienna van will carry statues of Lord Ram, Goddess Sita, Lakshman, and Hanuman, along with special prasadam from the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya and kalash of Prana Pratishtha Pujit Akshat, according to Amitabh Mittal, general secretary of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA), which is organising the rath yatra.

“The Ram Mandir opening has filled with joy the hearts of over 1.5 billion Hindus around the world and has resulted in a renewed energy and faith. The nationwide Rath Yatra will start on March 25 from Chicago in the USA and travel for over 8000 miles. It will cover 851 temples in the USA and around 150 temples in Canada,” Mittal told PTI.

The Canada section of the Ratha Yatra – separate one – is being organised by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad of Canada. It will travel to more than 150 temples in Canada.


“The objective of this Rath Yatra is to raise awareness, educate and empower Hindu Dharma,” said Tejal Shah of the Hindu Mandir Empowerment Council (HMEC), which is the apex body for all the temples in the United States. The yatra will provide the opportunity to all Hindus to unite and participate, which will lead to revival of Hindu ethos and Dharma, she said.

“It is very important for us and especially for our future generation to stay united and strong in the campaign to raise awareness and spread the Hindu Dharma across the world,” Shah said.

According to Mittal, several dozen volunteers have registered with the VHPA to help plan and organise this yatra. This is for the first time in the US that a yatra of this kind has been organised by the Hindu community that would take the van to more than 800 temples in the US.

The yatra will culminate on April 23, the auspicious day of Shree Hanuman Jayanti, at Sugar Grove, Illinois. The Rath Yatra would cover not only all the major temples but also even smaller ones. “We are going to visit every mandir in the USA as long as they have a physical space,” Shah said. The temples which participated in the Ram Mandir inauguration ceremonies in the US in January would also be presented with a certificate of participation.

“We are making sure that we cover everyone who has participated, we appreciate their participation, and this is kind of a gratitude for them. And they also feel blessed to have the Ram Lala’s pratikurti that we are going to carry in the Rath that we have received from Bharat. We also have akshat and Kalash, which has a lot of significance in our culture,” Tejal Shah said.