Photographer's Note

The Rath(Chariot) Yatra festival organized by ISKON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) in the city in honour of Lord Jagannath an avatar of Vishnu.

[The most distinguishable of cults thanks to the obligatory shaved head and pigtails of male members (though wigs are sometimes worn during fund-raising). Members also wear a necklace with 108 beads, each representing the 'Hare Krishna' mantra. The complete set must be repeated 16 times a day, that is to say 1,728 'Hare Krishnas'. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness was founded in America by a Calcutta businessman called Prabhupada in 1966. It achieved its height of fame in the 1970s when it was taken up by hippies on both sides of the Atlantic. George Harrison sold his Hertfordshire mansion to the movement at a knockdown price. More recently the Krishnas have been having a bad time. Always unpopular among liberals for their attitude towards women (who Prabhupada described as 'prone to degradation, of little intelligence and untrustworthy'), the Krishna movement also became a victim of its own success.]

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Additional Photos by Siddhartha Hajra (sidstakes) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 48 W: 30 N: 73] (772)
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