“Regarding Jhulan Yatra Ceremony, during these five days the Deities’ clothing should be changed every day, and there should be nice prasadam distribution and sankirtana as far as possible. If you are able to do it, a nice throne may be constructed on which the Deities can be placed. This throne may be swung gently during kirtana. That will be very good, and surely the Deities will enjoy the function.”
– Letter to Jayapataka, Los Angeles, 1 August 1969
For the last 33 years, an enthusiastic group of ISKCON Youth has worked together each year for an entire month before the annual Jhulan Yatra festival in Mayapur. In order to prepare for the festivities, these dedicated servants of Sri Sri Radha Madhava work day and night to ensure that the Divine Couple and Their associates will be well served during the 5 day festival.
The Jhulan Yatra team turn a dense forest of weeds and overgrown trees and plants into a magnificent flower grove decorated with winding pathways lit by lamps and fairy lights, colourfully lit waterfalls and ponds with fountains, blossoming flowers, trimmed bushes and multi-coloured lights. The breath-taking marvel of the grove is accompanied by an atmosphere surcharged with the boundless love and devotion of the Lord’s devotees, making it the perfect place for Their Lordships to enjoy many wonderful pastimes together and to engage the devotees in Their loving devotional service.
Every afternoon for the duration of the festival, a small group of devotees decorate a beautiful palanquin to transport Sri Sri Radha Madhava to Their flower laden bower for Their evening pastimes. It is also during this time that a different group of devotees make a brand new outfit for Their Lordships to wear when They go out for Their evening rendezvous. These outfits are made entirely of flowers, and decorated with peacock feathers and multi-coloured pearls and gems.
When Sri Sri Radha Madhava have donned Their flower outfits, They head out from the Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir on a beautifully decorated palanquin to Their secluded kunja, which is located near the ISKCON Mayapur Goshala. The Divine Couple are taken with a grand procession, led by blissful singing and dancing. As soon as They arrive, Their Lordships are greeted with the auspicious ululating sounds of the women, punctuated with the loud chants of “Jai!” and “Haribol!” from the remaining devotees assembled there.