Durban, South Africa
Way To Go
The champak tree becomes your companion when you do that goom-goom walk around the temple. In no way does this mean that the tree walks with you. I wish. What I’m saying is that a number of these fragrant flowering trees are planted along the path.
There are also ashok trees like the ones you read about in “the Ramayana” where Sita is held captive in such a grove.
I'm also reminded that at the opening of this temple (the 80's) when the grounds where less lush and trees not so full, Nelson Mandela walked these steps.
Our Ratha Yatra, Festival of Chariots, Durban's 26th, took the route along the usual beach front passing by all the major hotels. On this long weekend (Easter) many people become exposed to the chariots, the deities of Jagannatha and the mantra, Hare Krishna. At the culmination of the chariot pulling the fest ends up at an expansive aria, the former Durban drive-in movie facility.
In my opinion, like other chariots festivals I've attended, the spirit of participants is up, yet the quality sound is not what it could be to draw in the crowds. Musically, it has a way to go.
May the Source be with you!