Greater Houston Rath Yatra at Discovery Green, July 9


HOUSTON: Houston is getting ready to  Celebrate the Greater Houston Rath Yatra, with a fabulous Parade of Indian Chariots, Cultural Dances, Music, Bazaar and Street Foods at Discovery Green on July 9, from 6-10 PM.

Rath Yatra which originated thousands of years ago in Puri, India, will be celebrated on a grand scale in this 4th annual parade of three giant chariots through several blocks between Discovery Green and the Toyota Center, along with refreshing Indian Grand Bazaar, Vegetarian Street Foods, Cultural Dances and Music. The event is free and open to the public. Over five thousand Houstonians will participate, including many Hindu Devotees who believe that by pulling the chariots by hand, they will receive the blessings of Lord Jagannath, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Lord of the Universe.

Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Subhadra will be in their chariots drawn through the streets of Downtown Houston. The Rath Yatra is traditionally held in the city of Puri in the state of Orissa on the second day of the ‘Shukla paksh’ or the bright fortnight of the Hindu month of Ashad translating loosely to early July. In Ancient times, only the higher castes could even enter the temple to see the deities.  But once a year on this auspicious day, the statues of the three deities were taken out of the Puri temple and led in a procession to the Gundichamata’s temple where all people could experience the Holy Appearance or “Darshan.”  Traditionally, the deities stay for about nine days, and another return Bahuda Rath Yatra ensues.  Over five thousand devotees will sing and dance through the streets of Houston.

The SKAI (Surya Kabita Amlan Ishan) Foundation established in 2007 has been instrumental in bringing this piece of Hindu tradition to the city of Houston for now this Fourth Annual Greater Houston Rath Yatra.  SKAI has commissioned construction and shipment of huge chariots and grand deities, and annually underwrites the full event production which is managed by Masala Radio and Masala Entertainment.  ISKCON of Houston directs the religious and cultural aspects of the event, from the poojari’s (priests leading the prayers), kirtans (devotional singing and dancing) groups for the parade, prasad (food first offered to the Lord), and the Maha Aarti.  This year, SKAI Foundation has broken ground on their CHAR DHAM HINDU TEMPLE in the Woodlands.  Visit for their insights on the historical significance of the Rath Yatra, pictures and videos of the previous year’s festivals, and details about the upcoming one-of-its-kind temple.

Festival of India is presented by STAR PLUS, India’s leading Hindi Entertainment Channel, along with Tara Energy and  Mercedes Benz of Sugar Land. The event starts at 6.00 PM with opening prayers and stage entertainment.  Parade will run from 7PM to 8PM, ending with a Maha Arti at the Main Stage.  Cultural Show will run non-stop until 10 PM emceed by Iskcon’s Krishna Krupa Das and Masala Radio’s Sunil Thakkar; live concert by NamRock, and music by DJ Zee.

For more information about the Festival of India at Discovery Green, please visit and  To sponsor, volunteer, or participate contact or call 281-277-MUSIC.