It is said in the Bhagvath Purana that Kansa
had sent Akrur to Gokul for bringing Sri Krishna to Mathura. As Krishna
had left with his brother Balram by a chariot leaving behind the Gopis and
Gopals weeping, the day is celebrated in remembrance of this most touching
separation and farewell.
Every year, the idols of Lord Krishna, Balaram and Subhadra from Jagannath Mandir are traditionally installed on huge chariots. Devotees pull the chariots in a 'yatra' (procession) through the streets. The local king used to serve by humbly sweeping the road ahead with a golden broom.
THE GRAND PROCESSION:
The mammoth procession of Rath Yatra at Ahmedabad is the biggest in Gujarat. It starts from the Jagdish Mandir situated in the Jamalpur area of the city early in the morning. There are three separate chariots for the idols of Krishna, Balram and their sister Subhadra. The chariots resemble those at Jagannath Puri and are adorned with garlands.
Music bands and Bhajan Mandlis (groups) lead the procession. Decorated elephants also move with the procession and gymnasts and acrobats perform astonishing feats. Numerous sadhus of all Vaishnavite sects and devotees join in this procession headed by the Mahant of Jagannath Temple.