Wednesday, March 16, 2011


KOLKATA, INDIA ( - Hundreds of Hindu devotees embarked on a spiritual journey on foot from Kolkata to Puri to retrace an ancient road that led to the sacred Jagannath temple, the Lord of the Universe.  The journey, termed as ‘Sri Sri Jagannath Sadak Sagada Yatra,’ will cover a distance of 484 kilometers between the two cities.  The ‘Jagannath Sadak’, also called Orissa Trunk Road, was established in 1790 and was once the lifeline for the pilgrims.
Anil Dhir, a Hindu devotee, said: “It is an initiative to revive the lost glory of a very old road which used to connect Kolkata with Puri. This road was the lifeline for all the pilgrims who would visit the holy abode at Jagannath around the year and especially for the Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath (Vishnu) and was established way back in 1790.” 

“The road has a very rich history, but with the advent of the Railways in 1898, when the first train left from Howrah to Puri, the journey was shortened to 18 hours because by road it took nearly three weeks in a bullock cart and some people even walked,” said Dhir.  “After the advent of the Railways, in another five to ten years the road vanished and over the years it was encroached upon by Railways, highways and by the villagers, but in spite of that the tracks of the road are still left,” explained Dhir.  The touring group consists of students and research scholars from geography, history and archaeology departments of different colleges and universities of the state.

A group of pilgrims and devotees from Bhubaneswar embarked on a religious rally on foot from Kolkata to Puri to retrace a road that used to be the chief arterial road for devotees to reach the temple town from West Bengal.  The journey is scheduled to be completed in three weeks, when pilgrims of this expedition “Sri Sri Jagannath Sadak Sagada Yatra” arrive at the temple dedicated to Lord Jagannath (Vishnu) which is located in Puri and is an important pilgrimage destination for many Hindus, especially worshippers of Krishna and Vishnu.

After Mahaprabhu took sannyas, he first went to Shantipur and then on to Puri and then on pilgrimage to South India.  After completing his pilgrimage and returning to Puri, Mahaprabhu decided to go to Vrindavan via the route which follows the Ganges through Bengal. Great crowds of people accompanied him and he eventually decided to turn back from Kanair Natshala.  He met Rupa and Sanatan for the first time while passing through the village of Ramakeli on this voyage. ... Amongst the Lord’s companions present on this occasion were Nityananda Prabhu, Hari Das Thakur, Shrivasa Pandit, Shrila Gadadhara Pandit Goswami, Mukunda Datta, Jagadananda Pandit, Murari Gupta, Vakresvara Pandit and many others.  The Lord had them all give their blessings to Rupa and Sanatan.   Mahaprabhu continued on as far as Kanair Nadashala, ... then he decided to turn back, first going to Shantipur and then to Puri.

Śrīla Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Mahārāja :
“Sri Chaitanya: His Life & Associates” - Vol. Two: “Sri Lokanatha Goswami”
Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math -

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