Traditional temple

Central Indiana Hindu Temple to Celebrate Ratha Yatra • Current Editions

The Hindu temple in central Indiana will be packed with people on the morning of July 2 to celebrate an Odisha Ratha Yatra celebration. Odisha, formerly Orissa, is a state in the Bay of Bengal in eastern India.

The temple is at 3350 N. German Church Rd., Indianapolis.

Nearly 50 people will gather to celebrate the tradition of helping Indian deities, Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra, begin their journey to their aunt’s house. Deities will be drawn around the temple to signal their departure as hundreds of people line up in the temple to celebrate. At the end of the nine-day festival, the deities will be brought back to the temple in the same festive manner.

Indiana Jagannath Association member Shriya Una said the event brings together Indians from across the United States who now live in Indiana.

“They all join together and enjoy this party,” Una said. “It’s just a day to, you know, get together, have fun, but it also connects with the community. It’s something that people really love to do because it’s a celebration of the gods.

Ratha Yatra is a one day event open to the public. It will start with chariots being pulled around the temple. This activity will be followed by a cultural program where children and adults perform songs, dances and other traditional Indian art forms. The celebration will also highlight traditional clothing, art and food.

The event, which was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, was established in 2015. About 400 people attended last year’s event, and organizers expect a bigger crown this year . The festival will end on July 16 when the floats are brought back to the temple.