The Rath yatra festival has been traditionally celebrated annually in Jagannath Puri, Orrisa, where Lord Jagannath along with His sister Subhadra and elder brother Baladeva paraded through the streets of the city. This practice and festival still takes place in Puri and since the late sixties all over the world.
The pulling of Rath cart during the Rath yatra procession by the devotees symbolizes the attempt of the residents of Vrindavan, especially the cowherd boys and girls, to bring Krishna, Balarama and Subhadra back to Vrindavan, the holy dhama near Mathura, UP from Kurushetra.
The first Rath yatra outside India was initiated by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (founder of ISKCON) on July 9, 1967 in San Francisco. The Lord of the Universe (Lord Jagannath) now parade in major cities all over the world such as London, Paris, New York, Durban, Rome, etc.
People around the globe are becoming attracted to the joyful and colorful Rath yatra festival. Thousands throng the streets to pull the giant chariots, chant and dance and enjoy tasty prasad given to all joining in a celebration to honor the appearance of Lord Jagannath, Baladev and Subhadra.