Safari Tour Visits Mumbai
The devotees of the Safari Tour paid a four-day visit to Mumbai from 24 – 27 March 2009.
The Safari Tour was founded by Jayapataka Swami in 1986. Every year after Gaura Purnima festival, Jayapataka Swami and several sannyasis and senior devotees led devotees from across the world set on various safari expeditions to Holy places in and around India.
This year, owing to health reasons, Jayapataka Swami is unable to leave Mumbai and lead the tour. The tour organizers and members thus decided to take the Safari Tour in Mumbai where Jayapataka Swami is recovering at Bhaktivedanta Hospital after he suffered a severe stroke in October 2008 and is undergoing various therapies. The safari tour has visited Nepal, Bangaladesh, Ganga Tour beside many other Holy places since it was inaugurated almost twenty years back.
The safari tour aims to take devotees from all over the world to every town and village across India to spread the loving message of Lord Caitanya. The tour imparts opportunity for devotees to connect with each other, hear Krishna’s pastimes from sannyasis and senior devotees, meet and associate with local people, priest and devotees of a visiting Holy place and engage in chanting the Holy Names of Lord Krishna.
The Safari Tour in Mumbai included 120 devotees from 30 countries including Argentina, Italy, Australia, Peru, UK, Russia, Malaysia, Spain and many others. The tour members performed at ISKCON Juhu and ISKCON Mira Road and won the hearts of Mumbai devotees with breathtaking stage performances which included several music presentations, four types of drama, fire dance and incredible kirtans. A special highlight of the stage performance was a drama presentation led by a Russian devotee Madhuraya Kadambini devi dasi which includes international performers.
While the tour members were based at ISKCON Juhu, they also paid visit to Sri Sri Radha Gopinath Temple (Chowpatty), Sri Sri Radha Giridhari Temple (Mira Road) and Bhaktivedanta Hospital. Marici Das, the main tour organizer, explained that one of the main reason to visit Mumbai was to express their earnest gratitude to the Gopal Krishna Goswami, Radhanath Swami, Braj Hari Das, Jagjivan Das, Dr Madhavanandan Das, Dr Shymalal Das and several other doctors and devotees at Bhaktivedanta Hospital who took utmost care of Jayapataka Swami after he suffered an acute stroke in October 2008. Jayapataka Swami offered certificates to the above mentioned devotees as an expression of his gratitude to them. Marici Das mentioned “We want to thank all the devotees in Mumbai who helped Jayapataka Swami cope with the critical stroke and the rehabihation that followed thereafter. We are here especially to express our gratitude to all who stood by us during the difficult times”.
The tour members attend the Sri Sri Radha Madan-Mohan Utsav murti installation at Navi Mumbai Khargar on 27 April 2009. Thereafter the tour proceeded to Tirupati on 29 March to pray to Lord Balaji for the full recovery of Jayapataka Swami. They shall visit ISKCON Tirupati and Holy places in Tirupati such as Padmavati temple, birthplace of Hanuman besides many others.