Like previous years, during the auspicious month of Kartika, the ISKCON Bhubaneswar Nama-hatta Department organized a grand 20 day Sankirtan Padayatra from October 10 to November 16 in the district of Jajpur, Odisha.
For remembrance, the Sri Krishna Balaram Temple of Bhubaneswar was the last project founded by Srila Prabhupada, and it was inaugurated in 1991. It was Srila Prabhupada’s dear disciple, Sri Srimad Gour Govinda Swami Gurudev, the epitome of Krishna consciousness in Odisha, who started padayatra in 1992 for preaching Krishna Consciousness in the rural areas of Odisha in order to inculcate pure Vaisanava philosophy in the minds of simple villagers in the line of Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu.
The 2018 padayatras was inaugurated by HH Haladhar Swami Maharaja on October 18 at the ISKCON Preaching Centre of Lakhbindha in the district of Jajpur, in the presence of temple president Premanand Das, vice-presidents Satwatapati Das and Kasinath Pandit Das, Upendra Mishra Das, Chairman of the Temple Festival Committee and Gokulanand Das, Director of the ISKCON Congregation Unit. More than 100 devotees, from both ISKCON and the town of Jajpur, were present. Maharaja gave a nice speech and narrated the activities of the padayatras previously organised in the presence of Sri Srimad Gour Govinda Swami Gurudev.
A well decorated bullock cart, on which a murti of Srila Prabhupada was seated, was the main attraction for the participants, local followers and the villagers. In each village along the route the procession was welcomed by the villagers, at the entrance of the village and on reaching their pandals. From Ocotber 28 to November 16 the padayatris walked from the Birajapur ISKCON Preaching Center to the village of Khandra, thus visiting 20 villages. The daily evening program of the padayatra was attended by all the villagers. HH Haladhar Swami Maharaja, Akshay Hari Das and Satwatapati Das were the main speakers, giving discourses on Hari-Katha to the rural masses.
This padayatra, a grand ISKCON festival, was a huge success, due to the 100% cooperation of the villagers. Our devotees distributed more than 1000 Bhagavad-gita As It Is and other books of Srila Prabhupada. In this way the devotees of our Nama-hatta department, under a very dynamic leadership, have gone a long way in preaching Krishna Consciousness in Odisha.