Jagannath Ratha Yatra,
August 2, 1998

This was a event celebrating what I'm told is one of the seven main Hindu festivals of the year (the only one I know of is Diwali - the festival of light) and was held in Battersea Park on a Sunday back in August. Here's some pics I took on that day.

I got this pic as I crossed the road and was going to cycle into the park. I spotted the familiar sight of the disused power station (with what looks like a
water or gas tower in the foreground) in the distance.

This was the first pic I took when I found the festival. I don't know the name of it, but this is a sacred wagon with a retractable canopy (just out of picture shot, you could see what looked like a bell on top of the canopy).

I got this pic when I spotted a bloke I used to know from an disused old church in Kentish Town, N. London called Bernard taking snaps. I said hello, but he seemed grumpy about something or other, so I left him there. If you look closely enough at the puppet's left arm, there's a bamboo cane used by the operator to give the arm movement (the same applies to the right arm as well).

Here's a pic of the bloke who built and operates the puppet. He told me that it was just a simple bamboo frame (complete with harness and straps with which he fastens himself into) with a papier mache head (with the characteristic forehead marking of a krishna devotee) on top, covered with saffron canvas. Judging from his accent, he was from the U.S. or Canada I think. There seemed to be devotees from nearly every country there, which I found a little surprising personally (I later spoke to a woman from Holland who'd come from Glastonbury just for the day, and she seemed friendly enough to me I asked her what had brought her down to London for the day. She said she "...wanted to be spiritually uplifted". "Fair enough", I thought. But rather her than me, personally).

Go to next page