By Titiksu Das and Nitai Gaurasundar Das

London and Paris have much in common as far as Krishna Consciousness is concerned. Srila Prabhupada visited both cities many times.

He installed Radha Krishna Deities in both places and gave Them similar names...Radha-London Isvara (London) Radha-Paris Isvara (Paris). He also installed Jagannatha, Baladeva, Subhadra, and Gaura Nitai in both cities.

Rathayatras in both places attract thousands each year, around 20,000 people in London (since 1969) and around 5,000 people in Paris (since 1982).

These twin cities also share one of the sumptuous Rathayatra chariots, built and driven by Titikshu das, who recalls the historical background below:

"I worked with Mayesvara Prabhu, from the US, on the 1982 London chariot which was also used the same year in Paris.  Mayesvara Prabhu was on Jayananda Prabhu's team which built the 1976 New York chariots. Jayananda Prabhu had told him his idea was to have chariots that could very quickly be disassembled and transported, so many cities could have Rathayatra. The London 1982 chariot was built like this with sliding sections and can be compacted and loaded onto a flatbed truck in 75 minutes. The intention of the GBC for southern Europe at that time was that it could be used throughout the zone. The first Paris Rathayatra was in 1982 with this chariot, and Madrid was in 1984. In 2004, two more chariots were built in London".

In 1995 Titiksu das was approached by the french Rathayatra organisers, Advaita Chandra das (who left his body on December 24th, 2019) and Nitai Gaurasundar das, then Paris Temple president. They invited Titiksu to come with one of the three UK chariots, for parading Lord Jagannatha in the streets of Paris. Then for 25 years, this UK chariot was used in the Paris Festival.

Read more: https://iskconnews.org/sunshine-of-lord-jagannatha-dispels-the-clouds-of-covid-in-twin-european-cities-london-and-paris,8004/

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