VHPA of Chicago’s Shri Ram Lalla Rath Yatra returns

The crowd waiting for the arrival of the Ram Rath Yatra organized by VHPA Chicago. PHOTO: Jayanti Oza

On May 26, 2024 Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America-Chicago’s Ram Rath Yatra returned to Sugar Grove, Illinois, after visiting visiting 850 Hindu Mandirs in 49 States and covering 27,000 miles, in 5 Days.

It left on March 23 and came back on May 26. The Yatra was led by Amitab Mittal, general secretary of VHPA, accompanied by Joint Secretary Tejal Shah, and for part of the way by Ajay Shah, president VHPA, a report from attendee Jayanti Oza said.

Preet Mittal wife of Amitabh Mittal who supported this mission arriving from Ram Rath Yatra. PHOTO: Jayanti Oza

The Yatra’s return was welcomed in Chicago by around 200 people from different suburbs of Chicago. Prayers and ceremonies to receive the Rath were conducted by Pundit Anil Joshi of Hindu Mandir of Lake County Grayslake, and others. They all chanted “Jai Shree Ram” and “Hi Naara” and “Hi Naam Jai Shree Ram”

Harendra Mangrola, president of VHPA Chicago, welcomed all the guests and thanked all those supporting Mandirs of Chicagoland. He said this Yatra helped unite all the Chicagoland temples and thanked India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Master Vedarth, Anirved Marfatia and Shiva Vaishnavi, chanted Hanuman Chalisa. Anjika Awasthi performed Mere Shree Ram Aaaye Hein.

President of VHPA Shah thanked the Chicago community which made it possible to hold the Yatra. He expressed the hope that there would be 100,000 VHPA members in USA.

Amar Upadhayay, Dhruv Joshi ji, Sanjay Shah, Vandna Jhingan, Dr Bharat Barai, Dr Shamkant Sheth, Ajay Shah President VHPA, Krishna and Megna Bansal eagerly waiting for Ram Rath to arrive. PHOTO: Jayanti Oza

Abhay Asthana chairman Advisory Board of VHPA said the  inspiration of this Rath Yatra came from the Car Rally but it was never expected that this Rath Yatra will take this shape. He noted it was an exceptional achievement and that only Hawaii was left to be covered. Remembering Mahesh Mehta, founder of VHPA’s vision to keep Hindu’s as Hindus, he said that can be done these four ways — Prachar/Publicity, Sanskar/Culture, Sewa/Service and Sampark/Contact.

Mittal as well as Tejal Shah shared their experience of the journey. Mittal thanked and paid respects to 4 people present — Sanjay Mehta, Dr Bharat Barai, Dr Shamkant Sheth and his brother Umesh. “Each and every mandir we went we were received with lot of warmth and respect and different kind of mandir’s Big Mandir’s like castles, small in-home Mandirs, in Farms Mandirs. It was very emotional and energetic journey.” He also announced that in New York Independence Day Parade in August, the1st float is going to be 3 D model of Ram Mandir 18 ftx9 ftx8ft.

Volunteers Hetal Patel, Shipra, Anurag Awasthi, Niyati Vasani, Kathryn and Manan Raval  those who helped were honored.

Meghna Bansal, Dr Panna Barai & Vandana Jhingan honored Preet Mittal and Dr Barai & Krishna Bansal honored Amitabh Mittal.

Jaya Asthana lead the VHPA Prarthna & Bhojan Mantra and Nirav Patel ji offered Vote of Thanks. Krishna Bansal thanked sponsors.



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