Hare Krishna Followers Pull Chariots Through London

Thousands of Hare Krishna followers joined a colourful procession through the capital today.

For the first time in the event’s 36 year history they pulled three wooden chariots through London’s streets to mark the Ratha-yatra Carnival of Chariots.

Revellers formed a procession from Hyde Park Corner to Trafalgar Square where they celebrated the Indian festival with music, dance and food.

The 40ft high chariots are said to carry three deities including Lord Krishna, known as Jagannath.

Hari-dhama dasa, spokesman for the Hare Krishna movement in the UK, said more than 5,000 people packed Trafalgar Square for the event.

“It was wonderful. We did get rained on but the crowd were absolutely committed to staying and seeing it through,” he said.

The first Ratha-yatra festival outside of India was held in San Francisco in 1967. The event first came to London in 1969.